Goal is to reduce hundreds of work zone crashes, injuries, deaths
FRANKFORT, Ky. (April 26, 2021) – It’s a sure sign of spring.
The pinks, whites, greens and purples of flowering trees and shrubs along Kentucky’s roadways will increasingly be complemented by the bright orange and yellow barrels, cones and “high-vis” vests and helmets of highway construction and maintenance crews, working to repair and enhance Kentucky’s roads, highways, landscapes and utilities.
The Kentucky Transportation Cabinet (KYTC) is joining other state transportation agencies and the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) to promote National Work Zone Awareness Week, April 26-30. Gov. Andy Beshear signed a proclamation honoring the awareness week in Kentucky to keep drivers and workers safe.
“This is the time of year when drivers encounter more and more work crews on and along our highways and roadsides,” said Gov. Beshear. “Help protect yourselves, your families and your neighbors – the men and women who serve on the front lines improving our infrastructure – by slowing down in work zones and putting away any devices that might distract you.”
National Work Zone Awareness Week is an effort to prevent crashes, injuries and fatalities in work zones of all kinds – highway construction and maintenance workers, mowing contractors, utility crews, brush cutters and tree trimmers. But it’s not solely for the protection of work crews.
“It often comes as a surprise to learn that in Kentucky, and in fact nationally, most work zone victims are motorists, not the workers,” KYTC Secretary Gray said. “We want drivers to know they, too, have a vested interest in work zone safety.”
According to FHWA records, one person is killed every 13 hours and one is injured every 13 minutes in a work zone. But four out of five are motorists, not workers. In Kentucky in 2020, there were 905 work zone crashes, 228 injuries and six fatalities. All of those killed were motorists.
During National Work Zone Awareness Week, KYTC will be promoting two opportunities to show support for work zone safety. Wednesday, April 28, is “Glow Orange Day”, during which KYTC invites organizations and citizens throughout the commonwealth to use the Cabinet’s Facebook profile frame, posts and tweets to show support for work zone safety. Participants can use a #glowky hashtag. They also can tag the KYTC Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/kytc120/ or mention the Cabinet on Twitter using @KYTC.
“Glow Orange Day” will be followed by “Vested in Work Zone Safety Day,” Thursday, April 29. The Cabinet requests participants to wear high visibility gear, take photos and post them on social media accounts using #vestedinwzsafety.