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ODOT’s Orange Lights Illuminate Work Zone Safety
Statewide effort to reduce 5,197 highway work zone crashes last year 

COLUMBUS (April 6, 2009) - In 2008, there were 5,197 crashes in work zones along Ohio’s highways.  Fifteen people lost their lives and 1,780 others were injured.

Aimed at saving lives by preventing work zone crashes, the Ohio Department of Transportation (ODOT) is lighting many of its buildings and bridges this week with the color orange, as a reminder to drivers: “Slow for the Cone Zone.”

To commemorate National Work Zone Safety Awareness Week, ODOT is also placing 15 construction cones at locations across the state, including the Greater Cleveland Region’s District 12 Headquarters, to remember those Ohioans who were killed.

Through April 10, drivers will see the orange lights on ODOT’s Central Office headquarters in Columbus, the ARTIMIS building in downtown Cincinnati and the Veteran’s Glass City Skyway in Toledo. Several of ODOT’s district offices will also be illuminated.            

On the night of Friday March 27 a highway worker was struck and seriously injured on Interstate 77 in Cuyahoga County.  This incident serves as an unfortunate reminder to “Slow for the Cone Zone.” 

This year, ODOT has also enlisted the help of several high-profile partners in Northeast Ohio to remind drivers of the need to slow down and be aware of the changing conditions in a work zones:   

The Cleveland Cavaliers - As the top team with the most wins in the NBA, the Cavs will make special announcements during home games on April 5 and 8 and display “Slow for the Cone Zone” on the message boards outside Quicken Loans Arena.  

Cleveland’s Playhouse Square - Cleveland’s Theater District will run “Slow for the Cone Zone” on their outside scrolling message board.

The Shelly Company - In addition to using orange lights on its asphalt plant near downtown Cleveland - one of the busiest in the nation - the company has teamed with ODOT to display “Slow for the Cone Zone” banners along I-77 and I-480.

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.

There are a lot of variables in work zones - the cones, signs, equipment and workers. With reduced speed limits and traffic lane shifts,  it’s important to slow down and be aware of your surroundings in a work zone at all times of the day - for everyone’s safety.

For up-to-date traffic conditions, including information on construction projects and 24-hour road conditions, go to www.BuckeyeTraffic.org.

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For more information, contact Nancy Burton, ODOT Central Office Communications, at (614) 728-8915 or your local ODOT District Communications office.