State transportation departments across the country are gearing up to commemorate National Work Zone Awareness Week, set to begin on Monday.
National Work Zone Awareness Week was first held in 1999 as a partnership between the American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials, the Federal Highway Administration, and the American Traffic Safety Services Association. The event now boasts participation from several more organizations and state transportation departments across the country, all working to bring awareness to the dangers of roadway work zones and educate the public on ways to keep themselves and others safe in work zones.
While events begin as soon as Friday, April 12, in some states, the week’s festivities will officially kick off on Tuesday, April 16, at 10 a.m. at a work zone site north of M Street in Northwest Washington, D.C. Featured speakers at the event include District Department of Transportation Director Terry Bellamy, Federal Highway Deputy Administrator Greg Nadeau, and victims and family members of victims affected by work zone traffic incidents. This year’s theme, “Roadway Work Zone Safety: We’re All In This Together,” highlights the need for all stakeholders (including drivers, state transportation departments, workers, bicyclists, pedestrians, emergency responders, law enforcement, and all others) to play a role in keeping work zones safe, especially due to the complexities of urban work zones.
States are planning their own events to commemorate the occasion. Virginia Department of Transportation, for example, is holding a “Go Orange Day” on Wednesday, April 17, to raise awareness about work zone safety. On that evening, the Governor’s executive mansion will be lit orange to support the cause. Oklahoma Department of Transportation is holding press conferences in Tulsa and Oklahoma City on Friday, April 12, to launch a statewide National Work Zone Awareness Week.