Arnold Murphy from the NMDOT Moriarty Project Office created this ‘orange barrel family’ as a safety reminder in the work zone just west of Moriarty on I-40. Courtesy/NMDOT
SANTA FE—The week of April 7 marks National Work Zone Awareness Week, which also is the official start of the roadway construction season across most of the country.
Each year local, state and federal transportation officials observe National Work Zone Awareness Week by reminding drivers to slow down and drive safely through work zones.
What many motorists may not realize is that they are more at risk of injury or death than the construction workers in these zones due to speed and distractions. Approximately 85 percent of those killed in work zones are drivers and their passengers.
In New Mexico last year, five people lost their lives in work zones. In 2012, four people in the state died as a result of a work zone accident.
Work Zone Safety Tips
- Stay alert and minimize distractions;
- Follow instructions from flaggers;
- Don’t tailgate;
- Obey the posted speed limit;
- Merge well before you reach the lane closure; and
- Be patient and remember that work zone crew members are working to improve the roads for your safety and convenience.