Opinion

Toth: Keep MCDOT workers safe, recognize ‘Work Zone Awareness Week’

Posted 4/26/21

Maricopa County is one of the fastest growing counties, which means having to constantly navigate safely around work zones and orange cones.

Maricopa County Department of Transportation (MCDOT) …

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Opinion

Toth: Keep MCDOT workers safe, recognize ‘Work Zone Awareness Week’

Posted

Maricopa County is one of the fastest growing counties, which means having to constantly navigate safely around work zones and orange cones.

Maricopa County Department of Transportation (MCDOT) teams are working on projects across the county, ensuring the roads are safe and accessible.

Although you may not be involved in building the roads, most of you drive to and from work every day on them.

MCDOT workers and their families depend on you to slow down and drive alert when driving through a work zone. There is little to no margin for driving error. Driving too fast, inattentively or aggressively through a roadway work zone, places the lives of MCDOT workers at risk.

National Work Zone Awareness Week will be observed April 26-30 with this year’s theme of “Drive Safe. Work Safe. Save Lives.” NWZAW is in its 21st year and was launched as a public awareness campaign to help everyone understand they play a role in keeping motorists and roadway workers safe.

Statistics from the National Work Zone Safety Information Clearinghouse show there were 762 fatal crashes in work zones resulting in 842 deaths in 2019. In addition, 135 roadway workers were killed in work zones. Those statistics demonstrate the importance of work zone safety and participating in NWZAW to spread the message that everyone has a role in getting roadway workers home safely.

Additionally, there were a total of 123,000 work zone crashes in 2018 — of which 31,000 were injury-involved crashes that resulted in 45,000 injuries, which underscores the need to observe work zone speeds and eliminate distractions when approaching and driving through work zones.

Drive Safe. A reminder that work zones need everyone’s undivided attention. When approaching a work zone, motorists should always slow down, follow all posted signs, be alert, and remain calm.

Risky driving behavior affects more than just the driver — everyone’s lives and families are at stake.

Work Safe. Technology is helping to make work zones safer by collecting data and automating processes, which can remove workers from dangerous situations and provide motorists with important information. It is also a reminder that work zone safety begins with workers who are dedicated to safety.

Save Lives. If we all work together, we can achieve safe work zones.

MCDOT asks you to be careful not only this week but every week when driving through work zones, as we continue to provide connections to improve people’s lives.

Editor’s Note: Jennifer Toth is director of transportation for Maricopa County Department of Transportation.

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