Oklahoma Becomes First State to Require Work Zone Safety Course

Oct. 20, 2023
The new law is set to take effect Nov. 1.

Oklahoma has become the first state to require a work zone safety and first responder safety course for teen drivers. The law, set to take effect Nov. 1, 2023, will require all Oklahoma teens to complete the free Oklahoma Work Zone Safe and First Responder Safety online education course before applying for their intermediate driver license.

Work Zone Safe along with the Oklahoma Department of Transportation (OKDOT) and Service Oklahoma are highlighting this new law during National Teen Driver Safety Week, Oct. 15-21. 

In Oklahoma, 91 motorists were killed in work zone crashes on state highways and turnpikes in the past five years. There were 102 drivers under the age of 20 severely injured in work zone crashes in the past five years plus 10 young motorist fatalities in that same time frame.

“We want teenagers who are learning to drive to have the added benefit of work zone safety education before they ever encounter one for the first time behind the wheel of a vehicle,” said Oklahoma Secretary of Transportation Tim Gatz in a press release. “Work zones require all drivers to be very focused by putting away all distractions to ensure that they, other motorists, and our workers all stay safe. We’re proud to see Oklahoma taking the lead and the needed steps to do more to educate and engage drivers about being safe in work zones and how to safely share the road with first responders. We also want to thank the Legislature and Gov. Kevin Stitt for their support of this important safety program.”

Work Zone Safe was created by Tom Robins for the Oklahoma Department of Transportation and in partnership with the Oklahoma Turnpike Authority, Association of Oklahoma General Contractors, Oklahoma Highway Patrol and the Oklahoma Highway Safety Office. 

The program teaches teens about work zone and first responder safety and introduces them to the faces behind the flag and flashing lights. In total, ODOT and OTA have lost 72 employees combined in the line of duty in their history, which is more than any other state agency other than the military.


Source: The Oklahoma Department of Transportation