FRANKFORT, Ky. (4/13/13) – A split second of driver distraction can turn a highway work zone into a death zone. According to the Federal Highway Administration, on average, a person dies every 15 hours, and four are injured every hour, in a work zone in the United States.
The past three years in Kentucky, 11 people died and 471 people were injured in highway construction and maintenance work zones. That underscores the importance of the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet’s work zone safety campaign April 15-19, in conjunction with National Work Zone Safety Week. The cabinet is hosting events across the state to highlight the safety message and will run radio public service announcements featuring Transportation Cabinet employees and children of employees.
“Sadly, mothers and fathers are killed every year while working to make our roadways safe,” Transportation Secretary Mike Hancock said. “We hope our message – voiced by children of our own employees – will encourage drivers to think about the consequences of speeding and not paying attention in work zones.”
The Transportation Cabinet will invest in hundreds of highway projects again this year. Traditionally, the highway construction season kicks off in April. Cabinet engineers and contractors work cooperatively to design projects and work schedules that minimize delays and crashes.
“Work zone safety concerns all of us,” said Bill Bell, director of the Kentucky Office of Highway Safety. “Every driver shares the responsibility for keeping our roadways safe. By working together, we can end the needless loss of life in highway work zones.”
The cabinet asks motorists to practice 10 work zone safety tips:
1. Expect the unexpected.
2. Slow down.
3. Don’t tailgate. Keep a safe distance between vehicles.
4. Keep a safe distance from workers and equipment.
5. Pay attention to signs.
6. Obey road crew flaggers.
7. Stay alert and minimize distractions.
8. Keep up with the traffic flow.
9. Schedule enough time and call 511 or go to www.511.ky.gov for Kentucky traffic and travel information.
10. Be patient and stay calm.
Information provided by James Isaman
Photo provided by SurfKY Graphics
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