Family members of three highway workers who lost their lives in recent work-zone crashes were ceremonially presented with folded American flags at a news conference this month. The Ohio Highway Patrol promised these families new attention will be focused on increasing enforcement for traffic violations near construction zones.
The Ohio Department of Transportation (ODOT) launched the National Work Zone Awareness campaign. According to ODOT, last year was one of the deadliest years for Ohio roadway work-zones in the last decade. There were 6,035 crashes that took place in Ohio work-zones and 30 workers lost their lives trying to make roadways better for drivers.
Ohio Department of Transportation is Telling People, “Don’t Be THAT Driver”
The theme for ODOT’s new National Work Zone Awareness initiative is “Don’t Be THAT Driver.” ODOT hopes the initiative sends the message that no driver wants to be responsible for ruining someone’s life. Rather, the goal should be for both drivers and roadway workers to get home safely by complying with slower speed limits and not engaging in distracted driving in work-zones.
The campaign goes on to say that in roadway work-zones, construction workers
and everyone else on site make safety a top priority. When safety is not a priority at work-zones, catastrophic accidents can happen. That said, drivers need to make work-zone safety a priority, as well. Just as construction workers follow safety standards laid out by federal entities, such as the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, drivers must comply with the safety standards laid out by state law and can do so by reducing speed and respecting work-zone signs.
ODOT officials also stress that complying with reduced speed limits in work-zones does not inconvenience drivers. Rather, reducing speed to 45 miles per hour in a work-zone only adds one minute to a driver’s commute.
Ohio Drivers Must Be “Work-Zone Aware” to Keep Construction Workers Safe
The fact of the matter is that roads do not last forever. They constantly require maintenance, which subsequently requires work-zones. Drivers are slightly inconvenienced in the short-term in order to continue to have roads to drive on in the long-term. Workers at roadside construction work-zones are putting themselves at the mercy of drivers in order to ensure we have safer roads to travel on and, as such, drivers must do all they can to protect them.
Larrimer & Larrimer, LLC is a personal injury law firm that fights for victims who have sustained on-the-job injuries in Ohio.