With work zone fatalities on the increase, the Texas Department of Transportation’s Alice office observed National Work Zone Awareness Week by joining with other public agencies this week to remind motorists that every day requires caution when driving through work zones.
“Roadside crews often work only a few feet from fast-moving traffic,” said TxDOT Executive Director James Bass, adding drivers hold the key to ensuring the safety of everyone in the work zone.
In 2017, work zone fatalities statewide increased 9 percent over the previous year, resulting in 199 deaths and 813 serious injuries. In the Corpus Christi District, which includes Alice and Jim Wells County, there were 434 traffic crashes in work zones in 2017, resulting in four fatalities and 23 serious injuries.
Agencies joining TxDOT Alice in recognition of Work Zone Awareness Week, April 9-13, include Alice Fire Department, Alice Police Department, Jim Wells Sheriff’s Office and Texas Department of Public Safety.
Work zone safety is everybody’s responsibility. This is illustrated by the fact that 82 percent (164 people) of the work zone fatalities statewide were motorists while roads crews accounted for 4 percent of the fatalities.
Work zone awareness is a year-round concern for TxDOT because our employees never stop working to build, repair or improve Texas roadways. With Texas’ population growing and TxDOT working to relieve congestion and improve connectivity, there are as many as 2,500 active work zones in the state. While TxDOT’s top priority is safety and work zones are clearly identified with appropriate traffic control, it’s ultimately drivers who have the power – and responsibility – to slow down and pay attention in work zones.
TxDOT urges drivers to:
Stay alert and minimize distractions such as cell phones;
Obey road crew flaggers;
Expect the unexpected; and