ODOT and CSU Encourage Drivers to “Look up, Hang up, Slow up”
National Work Zone Safety Awareness Week Kick-off
GARFIELD HEIGHTS (Monday, April 4, 2011) – Attention drivers: Look up, hang up, slow up when entering a construction zone. Today, the Ohio Department of Transportation and the Cleveland State University Transportation Center kicked-off National Work Zone Safety Awareness week by encouraging drivers to become more attentive behind the wheel.
Cleveland State University students, representatives from Laborers Local Union 860 and local construction workers helped kick-off National Work Zone Safety Awareness Week, a coast-to-coast effort to reduce accidents in highway construction zones.
Sen. Tom Patton, Chairman of the Ohio Senate Transportation Committee, served as the keynote speaker at today’s kick-off event in the Wolstein Center. He spoke about the importance of safe driving in the work zone.
“The challenge of safety doesn’t take care of itself,” said Sen. Patton. “Let’s put everything on the table we can to improve safety and figure out what works and put it into practice.
A work zone safety panel of experts answered questions on how to safely traverse through a construction zone. The expert panel was comprised of Greg Wood – who was injured in a work zone accident in 2009, the Honorable Judge Joan Synenberg – Cuyahoga County Common Pleas Judge and Sgt. Andrew Janu of the Ohio State Highway Patrol.
The audience was interested in Wood’s story from the night of his accident. “I was confused as I lay there on the ground with crushed glass and debris all around me,” said Wood. “I knew I had done everything to keep myself safe. I didn’t understand why I had been hit.” Wood was proud to say that he is back to work and spends a great deal of time sharing his story with others to help them understand the importance of pay attention in work zones.
The Honorable Judge Joan Synenberg oversaw the trial of Kyle Ross, the motorist who struck Greg Wood in the construction zone. “How can you possibly be paying attention when you are looking at a hand held device,” said Judge Synenberg. “As driver’s we must pay attention when we get behind the wheel.”
During more than 20 years of experience in law enforcement, Sgt. Janu has seen his share of work zone crashes. “It’s the impatient drivers who think adding 30 seconds to their trip is too much that cause the accidents in work zones,” said Sgt. Janu. “Everyone needs to follow the rules and a majority of accidents wouldn’t happen.”
As reminder for drivers to keep their eyes on the road everyone in attendance at the Work Zone Safety Awareness Week Kick-off rally received an orange silicone thumb ring that reads “Look Up. Hang Up. Slow Up.”
To help drivers safely navigate Ohio’s construction season, ODOT is offering the latest information on all of the construction projects in Ohio that might impact travel on www.BuckeyeTraffic.org. ODOT’s premier Web site offers up-to-the-minute road conditions and details on highway construction projects in every area of the state.
For more information contact: or email D12.PublicInformation@dot.state.oh.us
The ODOT District 12 Communications Office at (216) 584-2005