Thursday, March 30, 2017 4:21 PM
BATON ROUGE, La. – Today, the Louisiana Department of Transportation and Development held a news conference at the Louisiana State Capitol to bring awareness to Work Zone Awareness Week, recognized this year on April 3-7, nationwide.
This year’s theme, “Work Zone Safety is in Your Hands,” reinforces the message that motorists should be constantly alert and prepared for unexpected changes in and around work zones. DOTD Secretary Shawn Wilson, Ph.D., along with Wes Bollinger, Division Administrator of the Federal Highway Administration, Executive Staff Officer of the Louisiana Highway Commission Dwayne Grant and Col. Kevin Reeves with the Louisiana State Police, emphasized the importance of driver awareness, safe maneuvering and the perils of distracted driving.
“For your safety, the safety of your loved ones and the many construction workers, I ask that you please pay attention and use caution when traveling through work zones,” Wilson said.
In Baton Rouge, a safety cone memorial is displayed on the front lawn of the DOTD Headquarters building in recognition of those who lost their lives in work zones nationwide in 2015. Similar cone memorials are erected in other areas around the state. In 2015, 700 fatalities were recorded – five in Louisiana. The data gathered is the most recent year for which figures were available from the federal Fatality Analysis Reporting System (FARS).
“Respect the men and women in construction who work on the highway each day to improve safety and transportation for the citizens of Louisiana,” Wilson said. “Their ‘offices’ are along busy highways and thoroughfares and are much more dangerous than many of ours, so be mindful of that when you’re driving by.”
“Workers put themselves in harm’s way to build and maintain the roads and bridges the rest of us rely on every day,” said Acting Deputy Federal Highway Administrator Butch Waidelich. “The men and women of the Federal Highway Administration call on drivers everywhere to help keep highway workers and drivers safe. Work zone safety is in the public’s hands.”
“As Louisiana works to improve our infrastructure, Troopers across the state will maintain partnerships with highway work zone personnel to ensure safe environments for everyone involved,” said Colonel Kevin Reeves, State Police Superintendent. “Louisiana State Police will continue to keep work zone safety a priority. Doing so will better help to protect the lives of workers, motorists, and the officers that keep work zones safe.”
To celebrate Work Zone Awareness Week, DOTD will be hosting several events, including safety talks at area schools. The agency will also be joining transportation departments across the country for Go Orange Day 2017 on April 5, in which employees will wear orange to promote safety. Those wishing to participate or follow along on social media can do so by using the hashtags#OrangeforSafety and #NWZAW.
Since 1999, the American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials, the Federal Highway Administration and the American Traffic Safety Services Association have coordinated and sponsored National Work Zone Awareness Week.
For more information about Work Zone Awareness, visit www.destinationzerodeaths.com. For information on DOTD, please visit www.dotd.la.gov, email firstname.lastname@example.org, or call DOTD’s Customer Service Center at (225) 379-1232 or 1-877-4LADOTD (1-877-452-3683). Business hours are 7:30 a.m. - 5 p.m., Monday through Friday.
Motorists can access up-to-date travel information by dialing 511 or by visiting www.511la.org. Out of-state travelers can call 1-888-ROAD-511 (1-888-762-3511).