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National Work Zone Awareness Week (April 19 - 23)
04/15/2010
Sally Ridenour
ODOT Public Information Representative
(503) 986-3359
 
Anne Holder
ODOT Work Zone Safety Program Manager
(503) 986-4195

(NOTE: Oregon State Police troopers worked over 6,800 hours of overtime enforcement in Oregon work zones between July 2009 and March 2010)
 
The following is a news release from Oregon Department of Transportation:
 
Oregonians are starting to see orange. Road construction signs, cones and barrels are popping up along Oregon's streets and highways signaling the beginning of construction season. The Oregon Department of Transportation is joining with transportation agencies across the country during National Work Zone Awareness Week, April 19-23, 2010, to raise awareness about the importance of driving safely through road construction work zones.   Nationally, on average, three work zone fatalities occur every day. In Oregon during the last 10 years, there’s been an average of 466 work zone related crashes each year, including an average of 16 serious injury crashes and eight fatal crashes.   “We know highway work zones can be frustrating at times. We realize your life is busy and your time is precious,” said ODOT Director Matt Garrett. “But please understand when you drive dangerously through a work zone you’re not just putting the lives of highway workers at risk - you’re risking your own life, and the lives of your loved ones.”   The majority of people injured or killed in these crashes are drivers, passengers or pedestrians, not workers. The single biggest factor in crashes is driver inattention; that’s why orange cones, variable message signs and other tools are used to alert motorists. The other major contributing factor is speed, which is why work zones often require lower speed limits.   Even if you don’t see anyone working in a work zone, it’s still important to slow down because traffic lanes are often narrow, rough and have little or no shoulder in a work zone.   ODOT asks Oregonians to show their support for work zone safety by driving carefully and slowly through work zones and to help us raise awareness by “going orange” for Work Zone Awareness Week.   Going orange can be as simple as wearing something orange during the week of April 19-23, 2010. Learn more ways to participate by visiting the ODOT Web site www.oregon.gov/ODOT.   ### www.oregon.gov/OSP ###