Work zone safety affects every one of us and we continue to see crashes and near misses that put our workers and everyone else on the roadway in danger. Just a few weeks ago, a semi failed to notice flashing signs about a work zone in Eastern Washington and crashed into the back of one of our vehicles leaving the safety equipment a mangled mess – luckily no workers were seriously injured. Late last week we had two work zone incidents on the same project on the same day in Southwest Washington. These are just a couple of many examples I could share.
WSDOT has been sharing work zone safety messages for many years, This year we’ve partnered with the Washington Asphalt Pavement Association and the Association of General Contractors to reach a broader audience. As part of that effort, we’ve created a video to show just how quickly a moment’s inattention or distraction can have disastrous results. The video, featuring several of our own maintenance workers, is a scenario our workers and contractors see on a regular basis: https://youtu.be/H8SXTngGpZY. We’ve also shared the video on our social media channels – Twitter and Facebook.
We’ve coordinated the release of the video with one of our largest construction related closures of the summer – “Revive I-5” – last week so that drivers understand how important work zones are for the safety of our workers and how impactful their driving decisions can be to themselves and all of our employees.
We’re asking all drivers to follow these four guidelines when they’re near a work zone:
- Slow Down – drive the posted speeds, they’re there for your safety
- Be Kind – the workers are helping to improve the roadway for all drivers
- Pay Attention – to workers directing you and surrounding traffic; do not use phones or other devices while driving
- Stay Calm – expect delays, leave early and take alternate routes if possible; no meeting or appointment is work risking lives