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Work Zone Safety Event and Memorial Monday in Portland
05/01/2009
Sally Ridenour
Oregon Department of Transportation
Public Information Representative
Office: (503) 986-3359

The following is an Oregon Department of Transportation news release:
 
It's the time of year when we are used to seeing orange signs, cones and barrels pop up along Oregon's roads. This spring and summer, Oregonians will see record levels of highway and bridge work not only with the Oregon Department of Transportation's continuing Oregon Transportation Investment Act projects, but also city, county and state projects funded through state and federal economic recovery funds.
 
That's why ODOT and its safety partners have organized a work zone safety event and memorial in Pioneer Square on May 4 at 10 a.m. The public is invited to join ODOT Director Matthew Garrett, Oregon State Police Captain Gerry Gregg and others for a moment of silence to honor those who have been killed or injured in work zone related crashes. Afterwards, ODOT workers will hand out educational information to Square visitors as they stand with 81 orange cones û one for each person who has been killed in an Oregon work zone since 1999. Construction equipment, signs and banners will also be on display reminding passers by of the need to pay attention and slow down in work zones.
 
Governor Kulongoski has proclaimed May as Transportation Safety month and the work zone event serves as a kickoff for month-long, statewide safety activities. Along with ODOT and OSP, Governor Kulongoski encourages Oregonians to do their part in keeping Oregon's roadways safe.
 
An average of 465 work zone crashes occur each year. 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 require lower speed limits.
 
Visit www.oregon.gov/ODOT for more information about work zone safety and Transportation Safety month.