OHIO DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATIONOFFICE OF COMMUNICATIONS - 1980 W. Broad Street, Columbus, Ohio 43223
Orange Lights to Illuminate Need for Safety in Ohio’s Work Zones
ODOT reminds motorists to go “Slow in the Cone Zone”
COLUMBUS (April 7, 2008) – Concerned by the deaths of 14 motorists and more than 1,860 injures from accidents in 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. In east-central Ohio, District 11’s headquarters, located along U.S. 250 in New Philadelphia, will be illuminated orange as well as its Belmont County maintenance facility, located just off I-70 at Morristown, and its Jefferson County maintenance facility, located on old U.S. 22 at Wintersville.
With the reminder to go Slow for the Cone Zone, ODOT is partnering with members of the Ohio Contractors Association and the Ohio State Highway Patrol (OSHP) to recognize National Work Zone Safety Awareness Week, running April 7-11.
ODOT District 11 Deputy Director Richard Bible said, “We are very pleased to have the New Philadelphia Patrol Post, located along U.S. 250, as well as the Ohio-West Virginia Excavating Co., located along SR 7 near Powhatan Point in Belmont County, participate in this event to help highlight theneed for safety. We thank them for also illuminating their facilities to spread this very important message.”
“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.”
For more information contact: Becky McCarty (District Communications Office) at 330-308-3949
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