Work Zone Safety For Drivers and Construction Crews
SANTA FE – The week of April 15 marks the ceremonial start to highway construction season as well as National Work Zone Awareness Week.
This year’s campaign’s slogan: “We’re All In This Together” was designed to bring awareness to worker and driver safety in work zones.
Nationally, more than 700 people are killed and more than 37,000 are injured each year in crashes in highway work zones.
On average, four out of five people killed in work zone crashes are drivers or their passengers.
The New Mexico Department of Transportation is responsible for more than 30,000 miles of state highways and 3,200 bridges.
More than 100 construction and maintenance projects are going on at any given time.
“The safety of our highway workers is our priority. Please obey the signs and speed limits. We work to improve the roads for you the traveler. Please be considerate and help keep everyone safe,” said Tom Church, NMDOT Interim Secretary.
Tips for driving in work zones:
- Minimize distractions
Avoid activities when driving such as using cell phones, changing radio stations, eating or engaging in any activity that takes your eyes off the road.
- Don’t tailgate
Unexpected stops frequently occur in work zones.
- Don’t speed
Note the speed limits in and around the work zone. Here in New Mexico, fines are doubled for speeding in work zones.
- Expect the unexpected
Keep an eye out for workers and their equipment.
- Be patient
Remember, the work zone crews are working to improve your future travels.
National Work Zone Awareness Week began in 1999 with a partnership between the American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials, the Federal Highway Administration, and the American Traffic and Safety Services Association to promote work zone safety. Since then, state DOTs and transportation groups have joined the effort.