OUR VIEW: Slow down in work zones, follow the law

Published 10:30 am Tuesday, April 18, 2023

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From April 17-23, the Georgia Department of Transportation (GDOT) will observe Work Zone Awareness Week.

The week was designed to get drivers to slow down and avoid distractions while driving in work zones. 

From 2003-2020, more than 2,200 workers – an average of 123 each year – died in struck-by incidents at road construction sites, the Bureau of Labor Statistics reports. From 2011-2020, 577 workers were fatally struck by vehicles at road construction sites.

“OSHA and the Georgia Struck-By Alliance want construction leaders throughout the state to pause work and conduct safety stand downs during National Work Zone Awareness Week,” said OSHA Regional Administrator Kurt Petermeyer in Atlanta. “The stand downs are intended to remind workers about safety and the risks of not following safety rules. Too many workers are hit and killed in U.S. roadwork zones. OSHA and its partners are doing our best to prevent these tragic incidents from happening.”

The best way to keep everyone safe is to obey speed limits and pay attention.

Seems like a no-brainer, right?

Unfortunately, not everyone adheres to the posted warning signs and changes in speed limits. 

There are a tips for driving safely in work zones:

Drive alert. Don’t drive distracted by texting, eating or other activities that take your hands off the wheel. Look for highway workers, reduced speed limits and narrow driving lanes.

Slow down. Don’t drive beyond the posted speed limit through the work zone. Keep a safe distance from the vehicle ahead of you.

Don’t tailgate. Watch for large trucks. Maintain a safe distance on all sides of your vehicle, so that you don’t clip a nearby vehicle and cause that vehicle to also crash into the work zone.