National Work Zone Awareness Week
This year’s National Work Zone Awareness Week (NWZAW), observed April 11-15, was themed “Work Zones are a Sign to Slow Down”. NWZAW is an annual campaign held at the start of construction season that encourages safe driving through highway work zones. The public awareness campaign was launched 22 years ago to encourage drivers to use extra caution in work zones and understand the role they play in keeping motorists and roadway workers safe.
Over the last decade, there has been an alarming increase nationally in work zone crashes and fatalities, reaching record highs in 2019 and 2020. These statistics demonstrate the importance of NWZAW and spreading the message that everyone has a role in getting roadway workers home safely. While workers are the most vulnerable to injury and death, 80% of fatalities in work zones are to drivers and passengers. Primary causes of their crashes are speeding and distracted driving, such as cell phones.
In Alabama, Skip Powe led a collaborative effort among SSR, AGC, Alabama Road Builders Association, Alabama Asphalt Pavement Association, Vulcan Materials Company, Alabama DOT, and the Alabama Law Enforcement Agency in a series of press conferences across the state, a radio talk show, and daily press releases to emphasize the importance of safe driving in work zones. Some of the emphasis efforts included Wednesday’s Go Orange Day, where all roadway safety professionals across the country were encouraged to wear orange to proudly show their support of work zone safety. Individuals and companies were encouraged to post photos of Go Orange Day activities on social media using the hashtags #NWZAW, #WorkZoneSafety, and #Orange4Safety.
In addition, SSR was a part of AGC’s work zone safety PSA on the dangers of distracted driving in work zones. It can be viewed at Driving through Work Zones is NOT a GAME! Please watch and share with your employees, family members, friends, and on your social media platforms.