As the Calhoun County Road Commission gears up for the summer construction season, they join with road agencies from across the country in recognizing the 2012 National Work Zone Awareness Week, April 23-27, by reminding motorists not to barrel through work zones.
“With the return of the familiar orange barrels, motorists must learn to unplug from distractions as they enter work zones,” said managing director Kevin Henning. “As roadways get more congested and workers are present, more attention is needed to driving. It is not just road workers at risk, but the motorists themselves.”
More than 85 percent of all people killed in highway work zone crashes are drivers and passengers, not highway workers. Although traffic fatalities are down significantly with increased public education efforts and law enforcement, Michigan experienced more than 5100 traffic crashes in 2010 where construction activity was present.
“The safety of our employees, contractors and motorists is our foremost concern,” Henning said. “While many factors contribute to deadly work zone crashes, driver behavior plays a huge role. We ask motorists to slow down, buckle up, drive sober, pay attention and, at all times, drive as if their life depends on it.”
In Michigan, most work zones are posted at 45 m.p.h. where workers are present. Motorists speeding in work zones are subject to doubled fines and additional points against their driver license. Causing the injury of another person in a work zone is a misdemeanor punishable by up to one year in prison and $1,000 in fines, and causing the death of a person in a work zone is a felony punishable by and up to 15 years in prison and $7,500 in fines.
Don’t barrel through work zones. The life you save may be your own.
The National Work Zone Awareness Week campaign began in 2000 as an initiative of the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA), American Traffic Safety Services Association (ATSSA), and the Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials (ASHTO) to build public awareness of work zone safety.