With increased need for advancements in our infrastructure, the number of highway construction zones continue to rise. As a motorist,
Work zone safety has become an issue we can no longer overlook. In 2015, 700 people were killed in car accidents in work zones. Unfortunately, that represents an approximate 5% increase from the year prior. In the first few months in 2017 though, there have been a wealth of campaigns shedding light on the significant amount of work zone deaths that occur each year in an effort to decrease this number, and educate our drivers. Here are the top 5 best work zone safety campaigns of 2017 so far.
- ARTBA National Work Zone Awareness Week
The American Road and Transportation Builders Association (ARTBA) hosted its 18th annual National Work Zone Awareness Week from April 3rd through April 7th. The theme of this year’s campaign was “Work Zone Safety Is In Your Hands”, which urged drivers to practice safer driving habits in work zones. Some good driving habits that the event stresses are to follow work zone signs, to remain solely focused on driving, and to be patient when going through work zones. The goal of this national campaign is to “Drive Toward Zero Crashes.”, or to work toward significantly reducing the amount of injuries and fatalities caused by unsafe driving in work zones.
- AGC Advertising and Outreach Campaign
The Associated General Contractors of America (AGC) launched an advertising and outreach campaign during the last week of May, or immediately prior to the peak of the construction and road work season, that’s goal is to alert travelers of the dangers of unsafe driving in work zones. This campaign is coming in the wake of a survey done by AGC that discovered that 44% of contractors have experienced a crash in one of their work zones in the last year. Stephen E. Sandherr, CEO of AGC, reiterated the message of the campaign by saying, “There is no meeting, email or text that is more important than the safety of workers or motorists.”
- “Glow Orange, Kentucky” Campaign
The Kentucky Transportation Cabinet (KYTC) had a weeklong statewide campaign in early April that made the state “glow orange”. The “Glow Orange, Kentucky” campaign pledged to, “illuminate buildings, landmarks, bridges, structures and homes with the color orange to show support,” of work zone safety awareness. The KYTC made this campaign a priority in the state because they have found that many Kentuckians encounter at least one work zone a day and that even a brief moment of distracted driving can lead to a potentially fatal accident.
- SAFE Roads Campaign
The SAFE Roads Campaign in Manitoba, Canada is looking to make Canadian motorists more aware of the dangers of bad driving habits in work zones by targeting them via radio, billboard, and transit advertisements. An example of one of their messages to motorists is,” To you it’s a road, to utility workers it’s their workplace. Spot the signs, slow down, and watch for workers so they get home safely. A message from the SAFE Roads Committee.” The efforts of this campaign have already proven to be fruitful as Chris Lorenc, president of the Manitoba Heavy Construction Association and Chair of the SAFE Roads Committee, reported that, “Our research shows that 84 per cent of people who are aware of the SAFE Roads campaign become more considerate, empathetic and understanding of workers and their designated work zones.”
- “Your Life Matters: Drive Like It.” Campaign
The Oklahoma Department of Transportation (ODOT) launched a month-long work zone awareness campaign in May titled “Your Life Matters: Drive Like It.”. To make the public more aware of the dangers of distracted driving in work zones, ODOT planted 85 metal ribbons at I-235 and N. 36TH Street in Oklahoma City, which represent the 85 work zone deaths in the past five years in the state. The campaign used traditional forms of advertisements as well as a proclamation from Gov. Mary Fallin to make the public aware of the campaign’s efforts.
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