Orange Lights to Illuminate need for Safety in Ohio’s Work Zones

ODOT reminds motorists to go “Slow for the Cone Zone”

COLUMBUS (April 7, 2008) Concerned by the deaths of 14 motorists and more than 1,860 injures from accidents in state’s highway construction work zones last year, the Ohio Department of Transportation (ODOT) is trying a new way to illuminate the need for safety – by casting several of its building across the state, including ODOT’s headquarters along I-70 in Columbus, in bright orange light.

 ODOT District 6 headquarters at 400 E. William Street in Delaware is also illuminated with bright orange lights. In addition to the lights, there is a display of 14 cones, adorned with a single black ribbon, in the lobby of District 6 headquarters. Each cone represents a person killed in a crash in a construction work zone in Ohio in 2007. The ODOT rest areas on I-70 in both directions in Madison County are also signed to remind motorists and provide them with driving tips in construction work zones.

 With the reminder to go Slow for the Cone Zone, ODOT is partnering with members of the Ohio Contractors Association to recognize National Work Zone Safety Awareness Week, running April 7-11.

 “Last year, there were 5,418 work zone crashes on our state highway system,” said ODOT Director James Beasley. “While that number is lower than the previous year, it is still important for drivers to stay alert, be patient and go Slow for the Cone Zone, for their safety as much as for the safety of our construction crews.”

 Nationally, there is one work zone injury every nine minutes and one work zone fatality every 8.7 hours. Eighty-five percent of those fatalities are drivers or passengers.

 In addition to illuminating many of the department’s buildings in orange light throughout the week, ODOT is placing 14 construction cones at locations across the state to remember those 14 individuals who lost their lives in work zone crashes in 2007.

 “There are a lot of variables in work zones - the cones, signs, equipment and workers,” said Director Beasley. “With reduced speed limits, traffic lane shifts, and people working on or near the road, it’s important to slow down and be aware of your surroundings for everyone’s safety.”

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 For more information contact Nancy Burton at 740-833-8063
or Scott Varner (Central Office Communications) at 614-644-8640

 Additional information about National Work Zone Safety Awareness Week can be found online at http://www.workzonesafety.org