MONTGOMERY, AL (WSFA) - Monday marked the beginning of National Work Zone Awareness Week. This year's theme "Work Zone Safety: Everybody's Responsibility" focuses on the vital role we all play in keeping work zones safe.
"Workers at ALDOT have a responsibility to set up a safe work zone and drivers have a responsibility to be safe as they are passing through those work zones," said ALDOT Drive Safe Alabama Coordinator Allison Green.
The Alabama Department of Transportation encourages motorists to observe National Work Zone Awareness Week on April 9-13 by slowing down in work zones, eliminating distractions, observing all signage and watching for roadway workers.
"This is something that is avoidable. If we can just make people aware of how important it is to slow down in our work zones and pay attention, we can save hundreds of lives every year," said Green.
In 2016, there were 2,960 work zone crashes in Alabama, resulting in 18 fatalities and 652 injuries. This is a decrease compared to 2015, when there were 2,452 work zone crashes, resulting in 31 fatalities and 492 injuries. In the United States, 765 people died in roadway work zone crashes in 2016. A common misconception is that most of those killed in work zone crashes are workers. National statistics show that four out of every five of those killed are motorists.
Last October one ALDOT employee was killed and two others were injured when a vehicle struck them as they worked on a surveying crew near the Atlanta Highway and Perry Hill Road intersection in Montgomery.
"This tragic incident is a sobering reminder that we all must do everything we can to keep our roads safe," said ALDOT Director John Cooper. "Motorists must slow down, watch out for highway workers and safely move over when passing work crews."
ALDOT offers these tips for driving safely in work zones:
- Know before you go. Check ALGOTraffic.com to find out if there are construction work zones along your path and allow extra time to navigate those areas.
- Pay attention. Don’t drive distracted by texting, eating or other activities that take your hands off the wheel. Look for reduced speed limits, narrow driving lanes and highway workers.
- Merge safely. If the number of lanes are reduced, drivers should not speed to try and pass other vehicles as they merge into the work zone.
- Slow down. If you’re speeding, you may encounter slowed or stopped traffic within seconds.
- Don’t tailgate. Maintain a safe distance on all sides of your vehicle.
In recognition of this national campaign, Gov. Ivey has issued a proclamation naming April 9-13, 2018 as National Work Zone Awareness Week in the state of Alabama. On Wednesday, ALDOT will go orange and the Retirement Systems of Alabama will light up its Mobile and Montgomery towers in orange to support Work Zone Safety Awareness.
For more information on National Work Zone Awareness Week, visit their website.