National Work Zone Awareness Week sets theme and dates
PIERRE, S.D. — An annual springtime campaign is being held at the start of construction season with the purpose of reminding drivers to pay attention while traveling through work zones.
It was launched in 1997 as a public awareness campaign to help everyone understand the role everyone plays in keeping motorists and roadway workers safe. A group of Virginia Department of Transportation employees in southwestern Virginia wanted to dedicate a week to raise awareness of work zone safety among all district employees ahead of the busy roadway work season.
“Statistics from the National Work Zone Safety Information Clearinghouse show in 2019 there were 762 fatal crashes in work zones resulting in 842 deaths across the United States,” said Secretary of Transportation Joel Jundt. “The statistics demonstrate that everyone needs to take personal responsibility to eliminate all distractions while driving, staying focused on the road, and obeying speed limits in work zones. We want roadway workers, as well as the traveling public, to arrive home safely each and every day.”
Director of Operations Craig Smith will kick off the South Dakota Department of Transportation’s 2022 construction season by highlighting key projects planned across the state on Monday, April 11.
As part of National Work Zone Awareness Week, everyone is encouraged to participate in Go Orange Day on Wednesday, April 13 to demonstrate support for highway construction employees across the state. Those who do participate by wearing orange are encouraged to post photos on social media by using the hashtags #NWZAW, #Orange4Safety, or #SDDOT.
SDDOT has also created construction themed coloring sheets, crossword puzzles, and word finds for young families and elementary classrooms to use to promote safety awareness and those materials can be found here.