With a number of highway projects under way across the state, and more on the way this summer, the Arizona Department of Transportation is asking everyone to drive cautiously through work zones, to keep themselves and those at work safe.
The tenth annual National Work Zone Awareness Week will be held April 6-10. The event coordinates every year with the start of the traditional highway construction season across the United States.
According to the Federal Highway Administration, 24 people died in crashes within work zones on local streets and on state highways across Arizona in 2007. While that number is less than the 31 work zone-related fatalities recorded in 2006, authorities say the number of deaths would be much lower if drivers took some simple steps.
“This is already proving to be a busy year for ADOT construction projects, and the addition of numerous economic recovery projects by this summer will visibly increase the number of work zones around Arizona for both maintenance and construction efforts,” said John Halikowski, ADOT’s interim director. “We’re asking drivers to help prevent tragedies by responding to our warning signs and being thoughtfully patient. Remind yourself when you want to ignore the warning and speed limit signs, that there are people who care about you and others out on the road and who want everyone to safely arrive at their destinations.”
Four out of five victims in highway work zone crashes are drivers or passengers, and not highway workers.