GDOT Observes National Work Zone Safety Awareness Week
Wednesday, April 5th, 2017
Each spring Georgia DOT and departments of transportation across the country observe National Work Zone Awareness Week.
This year’s theme – Work Zone Safety Is In Your Hands - calls attention to the dangers in roadway work zones. It reminds motorists that how they drive in work zones can make the difference between life and death - not only for our workers, but also for drivers and their passengers. It also reminds workers that they must always be cautious as they work in a work zone.
Today employees in Georgia Department of Transportation district offices paid tribute with a moment of silence to fallen employees who have died in work zone incidents – 59 since record-keeping began in 1973.
“Our Georgia DOT workers in roadway work zones are moms and dads, sons and daughters, sisters and brothers, and spouses and friends. We want to make sure they go home safely each and every day,” District Engineer Michael Presley said. “Dangers for workers in work zones come not only from drivers, but also from co-workers. I ask you to always think safety and be aware of your surroundings.”
The message for employees focused on how workers can protect themselves in a work zone and the need for them to consistently follow the safety rules for their job. For example, flaggers must be clearly visible to motorists and the flagger must identify an escape route in case an errant vehicle enters the work zone. Safety musts also include wearing high visibility garments, watching for blind spots when moving equipment, not turning your back on traffic and never assuming that equipment operators or motorists outside the work zone have spotted you and will stop.
While Georgia DOT has lost none of the GDOT family to a work zone fatality in the last 12 months, HERO Moses King died just over a year ago from injuries he sustained in a 2015 work zone crash while he assisted a motorist on the highway. Just last month, two South Carolina DOT employees died in a work zone crash and another was injured.
GDOT offers a few important reminders for drivers:
- Work zones are not always stationary. Moving work zones that conduct maintenance activities like litter pickup, mowing, pavement marking and sweeping may move slowly and stop intermittently.
- Whenever you drive, always Drive Alert Arrive Alive. That means buckle up; stay off the phone and no texting; drive alert; and do not drive too fast for conditions. Visit us on Facebook or Twitter.
- And in work zones, follow the work zone rules: pay attention – slow down – watch for workers. Also expect the unexpected; don’t speed or tailgate; and obey flaggers and signs.
- Follow Georgia’s Move-Over Law - drivers must move-over one lane or slow down and be prepared to stop when approaching a stationary law enforcement, emergency vehicle or construction or maintenance crew displaying flashing emergency lights. This includes our HERO and CHAMP operators. Learn more at http://www.gahighwaysafety.org/highway-safety/move-over-law/.