By KERRY SMITH, EDITOR, ST. LOUIS CONSTRUCTION NEWS AND REVIEW MAGAZINE
All this week, the Missouri Dept. of Transportation has been teaming with the American Road and Transportation Builders Association to host National Work Zone Awareness Week.
The week-long, national public and industry awareness campaign’s 2023 theme is “You play a role in work zone safety. Work with us.” Each day this week, MoDOT and ARTBA have been encouraging participants in the heavy highway construction sector to advocate for safety on behalf of those who work to build and improve the nation’s major thoroughfares. In 2023, MoDOT is working on road and bridge projects statewide totaling $1.8 billion.
The break-out of fatalities in work zones is surprising. Of the 857 individuals who lost their lives in a total of 774 fatal work zone crashes in U.S. construction zones during 2020, 117 of these people – 14 percent – were workers. The remaining fatalities were motorists and their passengers, according to statistics from ARTBA’s National Work Zone Safety Information Clearinghouse.
ARTBA officials urge motorists to slow down and stay focused when approaching and passing through a roadway work zone.
This week’s campaign included the following themes:
Monday, 4/17: Safety Training Day
Tuesday, 4/18: National Kickoff
Wednesday, 4/19: Go Orange Day
Thursday, 4/20: Social Media Storm
Friday, 4/21: Moment of Silence
The Moment of Silence theme was added to the annual awareness event in 2022 to remember the men and women whose lives were lost in a work zone incident.