PHOENIX – The Arizona State Capitol Dome will be lit orange April 9-13, proclaimed Work Zone Awareness Week in Arizona by Governor Doug Ducey, in an effort to call attention to the importance of being alert when approaching and driving through work zones on Arizona roadways.
“We want everyone to make it home safe,” said Governor Ducey. “Paying attention when driving through work zones will keep safe the men and women who build and maintain Arizona’s roads as well as everyone traveling through work zones.”
Being alert and paying attention to signage in work zones is especially important for motorists because national statistics show that vehicle occupants account for more than 80 percent of traffic fatalities that occur in work zones. In 2017 in Arizona, nearly 1,300 crashes occurred in work zones, resulting in 11 fatalities and 30 serious injuries.
Nationally, the total number of worker fatalities in road construction sites rose from 130 in 2015 to 143 in 2016.
“Highway workers are more than just numbers to us,” said Acting Federal Highway Administrator Brandye L. Hendrickson. “Every number has a face, every face has a name and every name has a story that matters. Work zone safety is everybody’s responsibility.”
Follow these tips when traveling through work zones:
- Pay attention: Observe and obey posted warning signs, as well as flaggers. You can be cited for disobeying a flagger’s directions.
- Expect the unexpected: Speed limits might be lowered, travel lanes could be narrowed or eliminated and people may be working near your travel lane.
- Slow down: Speeding is one of the leading causes of work zone crashes.
- Merge safely: Do it carefully and as directed by signage. In some locations a zipper merge may be used.
- Don’t tailgate: The most common crash in a work zone is the rear-end collision. Don’t follow too closely and, again, slow your speed.
For more information about work zone safety, visit azdot.gov/workzone.