TRENTON – New Jersey transportation officials today highlighted the start of National Work Zone Awareness Week, April 23-27, by reminding motorists that their safety risks and responsibilities increase with the beginning of the roadway construction season.
“The highway construction season kicks into high gear each spring, so it is very important for motorists to make safety their top priority as they approach and pass through these zones,” said NJDOT Commissioner James Simpson. “Be prepared to stop, and always be on the lookout for workers who place themselves in danger to make a smoother and safer road for you.”
A slogan for this year’s national awareness program is “Don’t Barrel Through Work Zones,” reminding motorists to slow down and be extra alert when they see pylons and barrels in or near travel lanes.
“It is always important to avoid distractions such as texting or using a hand-held cell phone while driving, and especially so in construction zones where workers depend on motorists to be alert and ready to react,” said New Jersey Motor Vehicles Commission Chairman and Chief Administrator Raymond P. Martinez.
Nationwide, there were 87,606 crashes in work zones in 2010, resulting in 576 fatalities. Of those 576 work zone fatalities nationwide in 2010, six occurred in New Jersey. In 2011, there were eight work zone fatalities in New Jersey.
NJDOT, the Turnpike Authority and the South Jersey Transportation Authority are using Dynamic Message Signs to remind motorists to always exercise extra care while traveling through work zones. Among the messages will be, “Work Zone Awareness Week/Drive Smart Arrive Alive.”
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