FHWA, Department of Transportation push awareness program to keep work zones safe

With the spring construction season in full swing, the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) and the U.S. Department of Transportation are reiterating National Work Zone Awareness in an effort to keep construction sites a safe environment and protect the lives of road workers nationwide.

To kick off National Work Zone Awareness Week, Deputy Federal Highway Administrator Gregory Nadeau joined state and federal officials at the Washington Boulevard Bridge in Arlington, Virginia on March 24. They were joined by several workers and families that have been affected by work zone accidents. The group urged drivers to stay alert and slow down when driving near highway work sites.
   
The theme of the awareness program, "Expect the Unexpected," stresses the need for drivers to always be alert for signs indicating reduced speed limits, changing lanes or traffic patterns, and workers standing in or near the road.
  
"As the temperatures climb, thousands of highway workers nationwide are heading back to work to improve America's roads," said U.S. Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx. "To keep them safe, we owe them our full attention when driving through work zones, so please avoid distractions like cellphones and obey posted speed limits."

Reports show that 579 fatalities have occurred in work zones in the previous year, and the FHWA hopes that the awareness program will reduce that number.

"When driving through work zones, be respectful of highway workers and their workplace by slowing down,"  Nadeau said. "Following the rules of the roadway makes it easier to expect the unexpected."

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