Department of Highways, District 6
Slow Down to Get There!
Slow Down To Get There
Safety Message Urges Motorists to be Cautious &
Reduce Speeds in Roadway Work Zones
Covington, Kentucky- (April 27, 2006) – Warmer weather signals the beginning of road construction season. In an effort to spotlight work zone safety, the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet (KYTC), its employees, highway contractors and law enforcement officers are reminding drivers to slow down, be attentive and drive cautiously through work zones.
“It is the Transportation Cabinet’s number one priority to ensure that our road crews are working in the safest environment possible,” said Transportation Cabinet Secretary Bill Nighbert. “These men and women risk their lives every day and every night so that we can safely drive to our destinations.”
The theme for the national work zone safety campaign is “working at the speed of night.” Building upon the national safety theme, KYTC is coordinating work zone safety events in every highway district. The month-long work zone safety campaign continues with an event tonight on Turfway Road in Boone County.
“Driving conditions change drastically inside many work zones,” said Tom Schomaker, Chief District Engineer in District 6 of the Transportation Cabinet “Regardless of the time of day or night, drivers should slow down, expect the unexpected and use extreme caution when driving in a work zone.”
The backdrop for tonight’s event is the $8.7 million Turfway Road expansion project. This project is just one example of construction activity that will occur across Kentucky through the summer. Some other construction projects to mention in our area are Turkeyfoot Road in Kenton County, US 27 in Campbell County, the Widening of I-75 in Grant County, and the expansion of I-71 and interchange improvements in Gallatin County. There will also be many resurfacing projects scheduled for this summer and fall throughout the eleven Northern Kentucky counties that make up District 6.
Most of the projects in District 6 will occur during daytime hours Monday through Friday. There are some resurfacing projects planned for sections of I-75, I-275 and I-471 where work would take place during non-peak times. This work will occur during night and weekend hours.
In Kentucky, there were 8 fatalities in work zones during 2005 and six of the eight victims were either drivers or passengers of motor vehicles that crashed inside the work zone. There were also 198 injuries from the 528 total traffic crashes in work zones last year.
During 2004, there were four fatalities in work zones along with 177 injuries and 560 total crashes. Fortunately, the statistics from 2004 and 2005 are better than in 2003. During 2003 there were 9 fatalities, 317 injuries and 826 total traffic crashes in Kentucky work zones. That year in particular hit home at KYTC District 6. Frank Chandler, a Traffic Crew career employee was hit and killed by a vehicle while flagging on KY 8 in Boone County. Also, that same year two contractors were hit on I-275 while working. One man was killed and one seriously injured.
“One accident in a work zone is one too many. Our purpose is to reduce fatalities on all highways in Kentucky,” said Boyd Sigler, Highway Safety Manager for the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet. “This month we want to provide specific awareness to workers and motorists alike and make sure they are protected while traveling in the work zone. They all need to expect the unexpected and Drive Smart!”
Law enforcement officers will also be constantly monitoring work zone for speeding and reckless drivers. Work zone safety is a growing roadway safety concern in the United States and Kentucky.
“KVE hopes to raise motorist awareness of the need to obey the posted speed limits, and other safety regulations,” said David Leddy with Kentucky Vehicle Enforcement. “Increased police presence in the work zones will remind most drivers that we are serious about safety.”
Statistics from the Federal Highway Administration indicate there were more than 800 work zone fatalities in the U.S. during 2004, which is the most recent complete years’ data.
Safety experts have compiled a “top 10” list of safe driving tips for motorists to remember when traveling through a construction zone. Those tips are:
- EXPECT THE UNEXPECTED!
- SLOW DOWN!
- DON'T TAILGATE! KEEP A SAFE DISTANCE BETWEEN YOU AND THE CAR AHEAD OF YOU.
- KEEP A SAFE DISTANCE BETWEEN YOUR VEHICLE AND THE CONSTRUCTION WORKERS AND THEIR EQUIPMENT.
- PAY ATTENTION TO THE SIGNS!
- OBEY ROAD CREW FLAGGERS!
- STAY ALERT AND MINIMIZE DISTRACTIONS!
- KEEP UP WITH THE TRAFFIC FLOW.
- SCHEDULE ENOUGH TIME TO DRIVE SAFELY. Call 5-1-1 or go to www.511.ky.gov for Kentucky traffic and travel information.
- BE PATIENT AND STAY CALM.
KVE Region 9 Captain -John Edmondson, KVE Staff Assistant- David Leddy, KVE Region 9 Officer -Neil Johnson, Highway Safety Manager-Boyd Sigler, Tom Schomaker-CDE District 6, Charles Lovorn-Executive Director of the Kentucky Association of Highway Contractors and Chad LaRue- Director of Membership Services for the Kentucky Association of Highway Contractors