Governor Pat McCrory has proclaimed April as Work Zone Safety Awareness Month to remind motorists to slow down, don’t drive distracted, watch for workers, and drive safely through work zones.
In conjunction with the Governor’s proclamation, the N.C. Department of Transportation (NCDOT) and the N.C. Governor’s Highway Safety Program (GHSP) are launching a new work zone safety awareness campaign, “Do Your Part and Drive Smart. Slow Down. Don’t Drive Distracted.”
April is chosen as Work Zone Safety Awareness Month as it marks the beginning of construction season in North Carolina. It is also held in conjunction with National Work Zone Awareness week, which takes place April 11-15. There are approximately 600 active major work zones across the state. Work zones are not limited to interstate highways as road construction and maintenance activities often affects U.S. routes, N.C. routes and secondary roads as well.
“As we enter construction season we need to remind motorists to slow down and pay attention in work zones to prevent injuries and fatalities,” said Governor McCrory. “Getting drivers to slow down and pay attention in work zones is critical in protecting drivers and construction workers alike.”
National statistics show that four out of five work zone fatalities are motorists, and that more than half of work zone crashes are the result of speeding and driver inattention. In North Carolina between 2011 – 2015, there were 18,024 crashes that resulted in 88 fatalities in work zones. In 2015 alone, 19 people were killed in work zones, including three workers.
In addition to the initial ticket and court costs, a conviction for speeding in a designated work zone in North Carolina will result in afine of $250. Workers do not need to be present in a work zone for a speeder to be cited.
NCDOT encourages motorists and highway workers to educate themselves about the dangers associated with work zones and to:
- Respect the work zone signs, flaggers, and warnings;
- Turn on your headlights;
- Don’t tailgate;
- Stay in one lane;
- Don’t drive distracted – put down the phone, don’t read, don’t groom, or eat;
- Don’t drink and drive;
- Obey posted speed limits;
- Watch for workers;
- Exercise patience; and
- Expect the unexpected.