Work Zone Safety Week

By Nick Gale, WLS-AM News

(CHICAGO)  Yes, Chicagoans know road constructions season well and with Spring finally here, it means road projects will ramp up.

In support of the effort, Illinois Gov. Bruce Rauner has proclaimed April 3-7 as “Work Zone Safety Week” in Illinois.

“If you are driving in Illinois this year, you will be driving in our work zones. We are striving to make this construction season the safest one ever and drive traffic fatalities in Illinois to zero,” said Illinois Transportation Secretary Randy Blankenhorn. “Please, if you are traveling through a work zone, slow down, avoid distractions in your vehicle and pay special attention to your surroundings. One life lost is one too many.”

The theme for this year’s National Work Zone Awareness Week is “Work Zone Safety is in Your Hands,” reinforcing the message that driving habits impact the well-being of other motorists, cyclists, workers, and pedestrians. When you choose to put aside distractions, you gain the ability to save a life, perhaps yours.

“The ISP is committed to the safety of construction workers and motorists on Illinois roadways,” said state police Director Leo P. Schmitz. ‘While traveling through construction zones, we want to remind drivers to obey work zone speed limits, pay attention to the road and put the cell phones away. We will be present in work zones throughout the construction season enforcing distracted driving laws. Motorists need to focus on the construction zone and that alone.”

To better alert drivers when they are about to enter a work zone, IDOT this year is deploying portable rumble strips in select spots throughout the state. The department is also expanding the use of speed indicator boards and Smart Work Zones, which rely on sensors to relay traffic flow conditions via digital message boards in advance of work zones.

More than 4,800 motor vehicle crashes on average occur in Illinois work zones every year. Provisional data shows that 44 people were killed in Illinois work zone crashes in 2016, including one worker.

@ 2017 WLS-AM News