TxDOT “Be Safe. Drive Smart.” Public Awareness Campaign Promotes Safe Driving in Work Zones
Work zones can present a different environment for drivers to navigate, including concrete barriers, temporary signage, slow-moving heavy equipment, and vehicles that make sudden stops.
In conjunction with National Work Zone Safety Awareness Week, which runs April 8–12, 2019, the Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT) urges drivers to stay alert and exercise caution when driving through work zones on Texas roadways—for their protection and the safety of roadside work crews.
At any given time, Texas has as many as 3,000 active work zones across the 80,000 miles of road TxDOT maintains. In 2018, Texas saw 25,162 work zone traffic crashes, resulting in 161 fatalities and 684 serious injuries. Of those fatalities, 84 percent were motorists and/or their passengers.
Since the leading causes of work zone crashes are speeding and driver inattention, TxDOT asks motorists to stay alert and put their phones away, obey road crew flaggers, slow down, and follow posted work zone speed limits. Traffic fines double in work zones when workers are present.
As part of its ongoing work zone awareness efforts, TxDOT also reminds drivers that the state’s Move Over/Slow Down law requires that they move over a lane or reduce their speed to 20 mph below the posted limit when they see flashing blue or amber lights on a TxDOT vehicle, emergency vehicle, or tow truck stopped on the roadside or shoulder. Not doing so can result in a fine of up to $2,000.
Safety around work zones is a year-round concern for TxDOT. Roadside crews often work only a few feet from fast-moving traffic. Their lives depend on the actions of drivers. Be safe and drive smart when traveling through work zones.
Safety tips for driving through work zones:
- Slow down and follow posted work zone speed limits.
- Stay alert.
- Put the phone away.
- Don’t tailgate.
- Obey crew flaggers.