ROADS/BRIDGES: TxDOT warns drivers as work-zone crashes rise

The agency’s participation in National Work Zone Safety Awareness Week addresses work-zone dangers

March 20, 2015

According to statistics released by the Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT), Texas had 19,393 crashes statewide last year in roadside construction zones, producing 146 deaths.

In effort to assuage further disasters and to educate the general public about safety in work zones, Texas law enforcement officers and members of TxDOT will participate this coming week in the FHWA’s National Work Zone Safety Awareness Week, which is slated to run March 23-27.

Karen Threlkeld, public information officer for the San Angelo TXDOT district, said of the coming event, “Ironically, it’s the actual motorist who is losing their life in the work zone.’ She went on to say tht Texas saw a 205 increase in the number of people killed since 2013. “Out of the 146 people killed in crashes, 127 were motorists, 17 pedestrians or bicyclists, and two were contractors.”

TxDOT hopes that public engagement with the week’s events will drive home the fact that the work zone is really the “office space” of a construction worker and that limits need to be respected with regard to allowing workers to operate safely within their designated zone.

“It’s tedious and nerve wracking,” said Jerry Stone, a Tom Green County maintenance section assistant. “[Some drivers are doing ] anything besides paying attention to what they have to be doing.”

More information on the event can be gleaned from the FHWA website.