Mary Alice Reporting – The week of April 17th is designated as National Work Zone Awareness and this year’s theme is “Work with Us”.

The annual spring campaign is the true kickoff to construction season and encourages safe driving through highway work zones, since nationally, 857 people, including 117 workers, were killed in 774 fatal work zone crashes in 2020.

Ohio Department of Transportation District 11 Public Information Officer Lauren Borell explains that one of the most important things drivers can do when approaching or in a work zone is to pay attention.

“Slow down, give those crews plenty of room to work, watch for those advanced warning signs that our folks have out there. Here in a rural area of Tuscarawas County, we know on two-lane roads you can’t move over but we remind you to slow down.”

In Ohio, there were 4,628 work zone-related crashes last year. Of those, 21 were deadly resulting in 23 deaths, with no workers killed. 

“All of the individuals working on the roads, whether ODOT contractors, first responders, and our maintenance crews, they all have somebody waiting for them at the end of the day, and it’s so important to pay attention. We want you to get home safe and most importantly, we want all those working on the roads to get home safe too.”

The Ohio State Highway Patrol wrote over 4,400 work zone citations in 2022 with 35% of them for speeds in excess of 20 miles per hour over the speed limit.

Borell adds that with warm weather, travel become more frequent and she encourages motorist to plan ahead by checking or the app to find information on on-going work, upcoming projects, and other delays.

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