As Work Zone Awareness Week comes to a close, we take a look at how the New York City Department of Transportation (DOT) is working to increase driver awareness and further reduce Work Zone fatalities among DOT workers. Each year there are an average of 700 work zone fatalities reported nationally; thanks to their proactive approach, the DOT has managed to limit the number of worker fatalities to 4 over the last decade. Here’s how we can all help keep that trend going.
Tips for Drivers in Work Zones
As part of the Work Zone Awareness initiative, the DOT has published some simple, common sense ways we can all stay safe while driving through a work zone. We can’t stress enough how important it is to keep your focus on the task at hand and remember that patience is the best practice. Check out the full list below:
- Drive within the posted speed limits.
- Dedicate full attention to the roadway.
- Refrain from distracting activities such as changing radio stations and especially using mobile phones.
- Pay close attention to merge signs, and do not change lanes within the work zone.
- Merge into the proper lane well before you reach the lane closure.
- Watch out not only for workers in the zone but also for their equipment.
- Be patient and remember that the work zone crew members are working to improve the roads for our safety and convenience.
Related Courses: 4-Hour Flagging Training
This year the DOT has taken the message on the road, literally, and has bought ads (like our top image) and placed them on work the sides of trucks and in public spaces to remind drivers that lives are at stake. The DOT has also proactively petitioned legislators encouraging them to make revisions to State Laws with the Work Zone Safety Bill, increasing the penalties for careless and reckless driving in and through a work zone.
Although Work Zone Awareness Week ends on April 7th this year, we should keep the DOT’s tips in mind all year long. Aside from keeping workers safe, your actions behind the wheel will most likely keep you safe. Per the DOT’s 2010 FHWA facts & statistics study, in In New York State, there were 723 crashes, resulting in six fatalities in work zones on state roads and bridges – most of these involved the driver and their passengers. You can read the tips and more about the Work Zone Safety Bill via the link below.