SHA urges motorists to be careful when traveling through highway construction zones.
With more road construction taking place now that spring is here, it's time to adjust your driving. That messages comes from the Maryland State Highway Administration, which reminds motorists that April 23-27 is Work Zone Safety Awareness Week.
SHA spokeswoman Lora Rakowski says it's not just about keeping highway workers safe. "But it's also about protecting those who share the roads with our workers, and that's you the driver and the passengers. It's about looking after your kids in the back seat, and your passengers that are with you. It's about your safety as well," she says.
Even though highway workers are out on the roads with motor vehicles traveling at high rates of speed, SHA says more drivers and their passengers are injured or killed in work zone accidents. Rakowski says that because road conditions are changing where work zones have been set up. "We're talking about jersey walls, changing conditions, dropped pavement, uneven pavement, certainly not normal driving conditions," she says. "Sometimes drivers don't prepare themselves for that changing condition."
SHA says nationally more than 700 people are killed each year in work zone crashes, a majority of them are drivers and their passengers.
The agency also says over the past ten years, work zone crashes in Maryland have averaged 2,646 each year, injuring more than 1400, and killing 12 people.
One of those who was killed was Frederick County SHA Maintenance Team Leader Rick Moser, in 2007. His wife, Laurie. has been an advocate for work zone and traffic safety. His son, Carl, is building a construction barrel mascot called "Barrel Man," which will be used in public places to remind drivers not to barrel through work zones.
This year's theme for Work Zone Safety Awareness Week is "Don't Barrel Through Work Zones---Drive Smart to Arrive Alive."