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Work Zone Safety

Work Zone Safety Awareness Events and Information

May is Transportation Safety Month AND
Oregon’s Kick Off to the Work Zone Construction Season 


Work zone safety is a top priority for ODOT, our industry partners and law enforcement.  We engineer, construct and enforce work zones to lower the risk to travelers and workers.

Drivers traveling Oregon roads are asked to recognize the importance of slowing down and drive with focus as they approach, enter and travel through work zones, for their own safety and that of their passengers, other drivers, construction and utility workers, and public safety professionals.

Dangerous driving behaviors have resulted in an increase in fatalities and injuries on Oregon’s roads.  Inattention and speed are the most common causes of work zone crashes.
Work Zone Data
·          A work zone crash occurs in Oregon every 19 hours on average. 
·          During 2010-2014 Oregon averaged 477 work zone crashes, each year.
·          During 2010-2014 Oregon averaged 13 serious injury crashes and 7 fatal crashes, each   year.
Safety Tips:
·        Pay attention and focus on the single task of driving, bicycling, and walking when traveling through Work Zones. 
·        Orange is your clue to slow down!  Pay extra attention when you see orange signs, barrels, cones and barricades.  An inattentive driver is the most common cause of work zone crashes.  Fines double 24/7 whether workers are present or not.
·        Obey all speed signs. Speeds in work zones may be reduced for your safety and the safety of workers.

2016 Work Zone Fact Sheet
2016 Work Zone Infographic


Scheduled Work Zone Related Events:

April 11-15:    
April 13:         
Go Orange Day, Poster Distribution to Statewide DMV Field Offices
May 4:           
Work Zone Safety Awareness Press Conference at 10:30am in Eugene along the transition ramp from OR 569 (Randy Papé Beltline) to I-5.  There will be OSP vehicles providing Media drivethroughs of work zones.

May 2-6:  ODOT Statewide Variable Message Signs will post when not used for priority messages, the following Work Zone Safety message:  WORK ZONE SAFETY MONTH
May 2-15:       
Light the Bridges Orange for Work Zone Safety Awareness
Union Street Railroad Pedestrian Bridge in Salem 
May 18:
ODOT Traffic Section demonstrates bicycle and pedestrian work zone delineation devices
at 4040 Fairview Industrial Drive SE in Salem
Aug 3-6:           
The National Workzone Memorial Wall at Union County Fair in La Grande

If you have questions please feel free to contact ODOT Transportation Safety Division at
(503) 986-3883 or (503) 986-4195. 

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Program Introduction

On any given day, there are more than 500 active work zones in the state of Oregon, and they operate day and night.  The primary purpose of the work zone safety program is to reduce the fatal and serious injury traffic crashes in all roadway and utility work zones.  This is achieved through a comprehensive program, which includes the four E's of transportation safety:  engineering, enforcement, education and emergency medical services.
Engineering: Work zones often narrow the travel lanes and alter the road surface, creating temporary changes to the roadway.

The work zone safety program works with the
Traffic Control Plans Unit of ODOT to provide work zone setup resources to contractors, municipalities, utilities and other partners to help ensure the safety of all road users, as well as workers.
Enforcement: The work zone program partners with enforcement agencies around the state to conduct stepped up enforcement and extra patrol presence in work zone areas.
Education: The program includes ongoing public information campaigns to educate Oregon drivers, pedestrians and bicyclists about unique characteristics of work zones and the steep fines associated with work zone infractions.  The program also provides work zone safety education materials for work zone workers.
Emergency medical services: Work zone project managers coordinate with first responder agencies to make sure that road improvement activity does not interfere with timely delivery of
emergency medical services – in the work zone itself or elsewhere.
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Program Manager

Phone Number: 503 986-4195
FAX: 503 986-3143
ODOT - Transportation Safety Division - MS 3
4040 Fairview Industrial Drive SE
Salem, OR 97302-1142
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Work Zone Facts at a Glance

  • Work zone crashes are often more severe than other types of crashes.
  • Most work zone crashes are caused by drivers not paying attention.
  • Speeding - or driving too fast for conditions - is the second leading cause of work zone crashes.
  • More than 40% of work zone crashes happen in the transition zone prior to the work area.
  • Drivers and passengers are more likely to be injured or killed than on-site workers.
  • Fines in work zones are double 24/7 whether workers are present or not. 

2016 Work Zone Fact Sheet
2016 Work Zone Safety Infographic

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Research and Statistics

2010 Photo Radar Research Report

Oregon Crash and Severity by County 2009-2013 Motor Vehicle Traffic Crashes Involving Work Zones

Oregon Work Zone Crashes, by County, Road Jurisdiction, Injury and Crash Severity 2006-2010

Oregon and National Work Zone Safety Statistics 2016


Work Zone Charts
Click thumbnail images to enlarge
Top Age Groups -
All Work Zone Crashes 2010-2014 

Top Age Groups -
Injury Work Zone Crashes 2010-2014 

Top Age Groups -
Fatal Work Zone Crashes 2010-2014 

Work Zone Crashes -
Top Error Codes 

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Public Outreach and Education Materials

May is Transportation Safety Awareness Month.  It is also the month that kicks off the road construction season in Oregon.  In addition to ongoing federally-funded major roadway improvement projects, there is an increase in state and county road projects, utility work and other infrastructure improvement projects.  

When you start seeing road construction signs, cones and barrels along Oregon's streets, roads and highways - that's your clue to slow down, pay attention to the car ahead, avoid distractions such as using a phone, and keep a sharp eye out for workers in the work zone.

Public Service Campaigns



Elevator (mov)
Radio PSAs
Santino the Safety Cone - Spanish (mp3)
To request broadcast quality radio or TV PSAs, please contact the Work Zone Safety Program Manager.


Billboard/Web Banner

Avoid Distractions Respect the Zone See Orange, Zone In.
              (Some items above are available as Billboard PSAs and Web Banners)


      (Handout)                (Brochure)              (Coloring Page)  



ODOT-Transportation Safety Division offers dozens of free booklets, brochures, posters, stickers, and other materials designed to promote safe driving, biking and walking. These materials may be ordered directly from the ODOT Storeroom.  Free Publications Catalog   ODOT Storeroom Order Form

ODOT Storeroom
455 Airport Road, Building K
Salem, OR 97301
Telephone: 503 986-2782
FAX:  503 986-2801
Do not submit photocopies of the order form. Each order form is marked with an inventory control number and must not be duplicated.
There are no costs for ordering these public education and information items if the request is within the program limit amount. For larger orders, a special printing can be arranged at cost. The listings in this brochure are updated as materials are added and deleted. 
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What's New

New video illustrates danger of highway construction jobs
The Employee Safety Unit of ODOT - in partnership with the Photo and Video Services Unit - recently produced a new safety training video "It can be a dangerous job" about a near-miss incident that took place on I-5 in Jackson County. We hope this video stimulates conversations about work zone safety among road construction and utility crews, and impresses the importance of respecting the zone on the driving public.
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Flagger Training/Certification

ODOT has designated the Chemeketa Community College Center for Business and Industry as the administrator of flagger curriculum, materials and Flagger Certification Cards.  To find out about
flagger certification classes in your area, click on the link below.

Oregon Flagger Training Certification Program

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Work Zone Setup Resources

Properly set-up work zones are essential to worker and driver safety.  Make sure you are familiar with state and federal requirements for setting up your work zone before you start.

Traffic Control Devices:  Visit the Traffic Control Plans Unit page for the most up-to-date manuals and handbooks.

Device Quality Standards:  Use the ATSSA "Quality Guidelines for Temporary Traffic Control Devices and Features" handbook to assess the quality of your devices.

Traffic Analysis:  Refer to the ODOT Work Zone Traffic Analysis Tool Users' Guide to optimize lane closures and minimize delays.

Worker Safety:  Before you start, check the Oregon OSHA Traffic Control section for the latest safety guidelines.

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