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National Work Zone Awareness Week stresses ongoing need for safety on roadways

April 6, 2001 (Release 01-034A)
News Contact: Kim Stich, (785) 296-3585

National Work Zone Awareness Week stresses ongoing need for safety on roadways

Seven people were killed in highway work zone accidents across Kansas last year. Maybe you knew one of those people, maybe you didn't. But the fact still remains - the lives of seven families were changed forever.

"It only takes a second for an accident to happen in a work zone that could cause an injury or death," said Secretary of Transportation E. Dean Carlson. "The Kansas Department of Transportation's goal is to raise awareness about work zone safety for everyone - highway workers as well as motorists." All those people killed in highway work zones in Kansas were motorists, not highway workers.

KDOT, The American Traffic Safety Services Association, the Federal Highway Administration, the American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials and other transportation organizations are working together to participate in the annual National Work Zone Awareness Week taking place April 9-13. The week-long observation brings to light the hazards and dangers that can be encountered and avoided when driving through roadway construction zones.

There were 1,318 total accidents in Kansas highway work zones last year and 505 people were injured. In 87 percent of those accidents, the contributing circumstance was driver-related. Inattention was the main cause followed by failure to yield, following too closely and driving too fast for conditions.

"Motorists must pay attention at all times while driving, and especially in work zones," Carlson said. "Approximately 40,000 people are injured in the United States each year in work zone accidents - one of them could be you. Don't become a statistic. We want you and our highway workers to get home safely."

This page last updated 04/05/01