MoDOT, IDOT promote National Work Zone Awareness Week

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GRANITE CITY, IL (KPLR)- Pay attention in work zones or pay the price! Each spring, MoDOT prepares for the summer season of roadwork across the state by promoting National Work Zone Awareness Week. The week runs from March 23rd through the 27th. This year's theme is 'Expect the Unexpected.' Ninety percent of all work-zone fatalities are not workers, but motorists. During the week, motorists are reminded to slow down and pay attention as they drive past work zones.

Safety officials want driver to know that all work zones are not the same. Some zones are moving operations, such as striping, patching or mowing. Others can be short term, temporary lane closures or simply designed to remove debris from the roadway.

In 2014, driver inattention was the second highest cause of work zone crashes. Driving too closely topped the list at number one. Highway workers make every effort to work safely. However, they count on motorists to pay attention, slow down, and use caution when driving through work zones.

Last year, Illinois experienced more than 4,800 work-zone crashes. More than 1,100 of those crashes resulted in an injury. Officials say 29 fatalities and three of those were workers doing their jobs.

Tips to remember during construction season:

  • Pay attention: Conditions can change throughout the length of a work zone, including lane shifts or closures, slow-moving vehicles or equipment and workers performing various activities.
  • Slow down and obey the posted speed limits. Remember: Traffic backups can occur at any time.
  • Speeding and inattentiveness continue to be the leading cause of work-zone crashes. This is unacceptable. Our message is that we want EVERYONE to arrive at their destinations safely.
  • To continually improve safety in work zones, it is critical to identify initiatives that are successful and expand their use.
  • This year, we will continue to place speed indicator boards on all interstate projects with lane closures. This initiative started last year and resulted in reducing speeds in work zones by 10 to 15 mph.
  • These speed indicator boards use radar technology and provide immediate feedback to motorists of their speeds so that they can slow down and obey the posted work zone speed limit as they enter a work zone. If motorists are exceeding the speed limit, the speed board lights up and a sign flashes the real-time speed of their vehicles.
  • IDOT will also expand its use of SMART Work Zone technology on interstate projects. This technology uses computers and sensors to communicate real-time traffic information and delays to the motorists traveling thru interstate work zones using digital message boards.

Their goal is for everyone to make it home safely.

To help make your travel safer, visit MoDOT's Traveler Information map at traveler.modot.org/map and find out what work zones you'll encounter before you go.