TxDOT urges extreme caution as motorists make up vast majority of those killed

CORPUS CHRISTI – Work zone fatalities in Texas last year increased 27 percent, resulting in 181 lost lives. Of those fatalities, 174 (96 percent) were motorists, pedestrians and bicyclists.

“People often think work zone crashes result in the deaths of roadside workers, but statistics show the vast majority of these fatalities are drivers like you and me who are passing through as motorists,” said TxDOT Executive Director James Bass. “We urge you to pay attention and adhere to posted traffic signs when driving through work zones to ensure your safety and the safety of the men and women who are working on our roads. At the end of the day, we want everyone to return home safely to their loved ones.”

In recognition of National Work Zone Awareness Week, April 3-7, TxDOT reminds drivers that every single day requires caution when driving through work zones. As the state’s population continues to boom, the price of progress can mean more than 2,500 active TxDOT work zones at any given time. In 2016, there were 175 work zone crashes in Corpus Christi, resulting in one fatality. The leading causes of fatal work zone crashes statewide – speeding and failure to stay in a single lane – are entirely preventable.

TxDOT’s Alice Area Office and Maintenance Section enlisted the help of “Optimus Barold” to alert motorists on U.S. 281 that “Work zone safety is in your hands.” The Alice Police Department, Jim Wells County Sheriff’s Department and Texas Department of Public Safety joined TxDOT in support of the work zone safety campaign.

By law, drivers are required to move over or slow down when approaching work crews, emergency vehicles or tow trucks stopped on the roadside or shoulder with flashing blue or amber lights. Traffic fines in work zones double when workers are present and can cost up to $2,000.

More Work Zone Safety information is available here: Work Zones - Texas Department of Transportation

For more information, contact Rickey.Dailey@TxDOT.gov at (361) 808-2544.

The information contained in this report represents reportable data collected from the Texas Peace Officer's Crash Report (CR-3). This information was received and processed by the department as of March 6, 2017.