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Home / Opinion / Awareness saves lives – Reduce fatalities and accidents by using extra caution in work zones

Awareness saves lives – Reduce fatalities and accidents by using extra caution in work zones

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IN 2014, 146 people were killed in Texas work zone crashes, an increase of more than 20 per cent from 2013.
This past week was National Work Zone Awareness Week and the Texas Department of Transportation is continuing to urge drivers to slow down, pay attention and be extra cautious when driving through work zones and construction areas.
“People often think work zone crashes result in the deaths of roadside workers, but last year, 87 percent of work zone fatalities were motorists,” said TxDOT Deputy Executive Director John Barton. “Our TxDOT employees and contractors are obviously at risk, but so too are drivers and their passengers. We urge everyone to be careful and responsible in work zones so our roadside workers and passing motorists, alike, can arrive safely at home to their loved ones.”
With approximately 400,000 people moving to Texas each year, the price of progress can mean more than 2,500 active TxDOT work zones at any given time. Last year, 19,393 work zone crashes marked a 12 per cent increase since 2013.
The top two factors of work zone crashes are failure to control speed and driver inattention. Traffic fines in work zones double when workers are present and can cost up to $2,000.
By law, drivers are required to move over or slow down when approaching work crews, emergency vehicles or tow trucks stopped on the roadside or shoulder with flashing blue or amber lights.
During National Work Zone Awareness week, TxDOT’s permanent message signs along highways and roadways reminded drivers to use caution in work zones. With numerous work and construction zones still in effect throughout Galveston County, local drivers should remain aware of their surroundings to ensure their safety, as well as the safety of other motorists and the crews working to improve infrastructure.

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