For informational/historical purposes only.

NEWS RELEASE

Ohio Department of Transportation Internet News Release
April 8, 2002

Work Zone Safety Week Aims to Save Lives

COLUMBUS The Ohio Department of Transportation kicks off its Work Zone Safety Awareness campaign this week with the aim of saving lives and preventing injuries.

Last year in Ohio, 2,584 people were injured in work zone accidents and 23 people died.

"Every year thousands of people nationwide both motorists and highway workers are injured or killed in construction zone crashes," said ODOT Director Gordon Proctor. "We are taking great precautions while we work on the road to ensure families and construction workers are safe. Motorists can help by exercising caution and good judgment in the work zone."

ODOT is partnering with the Federal Highway Administration and Ohio Department of Public Safety to spread safety tips to Ohio drivers. When driving in work zones, motorists can increase safety by following these guidelines:

Stay alert and give driving your full attention.
Follow all posted signs and obey flaggers.
Dont tailgate or speed; Most crashes in work zones are rear-end collisions.
Expect the unexpected; Work zones are changing environments.
Be aware that normal traffic patterns may be shifted.

ODOT is also doing its part to improve work zone safety by reducing backups and delays, which can lead to rear-end collisions and other accidents caused by driver impatience. Last year, the department spent $30 million to reduce work zone congestion by:

  • conducting more work at night and on weekends when fewer motorists use the roadway

  • rewarding contractors for early completion and penalizing them for delays, and

  • maintaining two lanes in each direction on the interstates during peak hours whenever possible

Of the 68 interstate construction projects scheduled for this year, 59 include one or more of these strategies.

For information on the location of construction zones across the state, access the ODOT Web site at: www.odotonline.org/otis or check the Ohio Interstate Construction Brochure, available by calling (614) 466-8480.