Kentucky Transportation Cabinet campaign aims for safer driving, safer work zones
On average, a life is lost every 13 hours in work zone crashes nationwide
FRANKFORT, Ky. (April 1, 2011) — A split second of driver distraction can turn a highway work zone into a death zone.
Nationally, someone is killed every 13 hours – and injured every 13 minutes – as a result of an accident in a highway work zone. Last year in Kentucky, the toll was one person killed and 116 people injured.
The figures underscore the importance of the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet’s work zone safety campaign April 4-8, in conjunction with National Work Zone Safety Week. The cabinet is hosting events across the state to highlight the safety message.
“Sadly, people are killed every year in highway work zones, but that doesn’t have to happen,” Transportation Secretary Mike Hancock said. “Drivers have the power to turn those statistics around by paying attention to their surroundings and obeying work zone restrictions.”
Work zones can involve highway construction and maintenance workers, utility crews, mowing contractors, brush cutters and tree trimmers. Eighty-five percent of those killed are motorists.
The Transportation Cabinet will invest in hundreds of highway projects again this year. Traditionally, the highway construction season kicks off in April. Cabinet engineers and contractors work cooperatively to design projects and work schedules that minimize delays and crashes.
“Work zone safety concerns all of us,” said Boyd Sigler, director of the Kentucky Office of Highway Safety Programs. “Every driver has a responsibility in keeping our roadways safe. By working together, we can end the needless loss of life in highway work zones.”
The cabinet asks motorists to practice 10 work zone safety tips:
1. Expect the unexpected.
2. Slow down.
3. Don’t tailgate. Keep a safe distance between vehicles.
4. Keep a safe distance from workers and equipment.
5. Pay attention to signs.
6. Obey road crew flaggers.
7. Stay alert and minimize distractions.
8. Keep up with the traffic flow.
9. Schedule enough time and call 511 or go to www.511.ky.gov for Kentucky traffic and travel information.
10. Be patient and stay calm.