Oregon State Police (OSP) and law enforcement partners joined ODOT and transportation agencies across the country during “National Work Zone Awareness Week,” April 7-11, 2014, to emphasize the importance of traveling safely through road construction zones, especially through transition areas prior to a work area. 40% of work zone crashes occur in transition areas.
Work Zone Crashes More Severe Than Other Types of Crashes
This year’s theme is “Work Zone Speeding: A Costly Mistake.” Nationally, about 595 people are killed in work zone crashes each year, mainly due to speed and unsafe, distracted driving, making work zone crashes more severe than other types of crashes. Here in Oregon there were 21 work zone fatalities in the last 3 years. While road construction is the most dangerous occupation in the United States, more drivers and their passengers than workers die each year in National and Oregon work zones.
ODOT and OSP Work Together for Safe Work Zone Areas
ODOT’s ongoing comprehensive work zone safety program includes engineering, education, enforcement and emergency medical services. OSP troopers work closely with ODOT to address safety concerns in highway work zones on state highways and freeways, and ODOT provides grant funding to OSP to put troopers on overtime in work zones throughout the state.