National Work Zone Awareness Week

The Ohio Department of Transportation is joining other departments of transportation across the country to mark National Work Zone Awareness Week.

The week is set aside each year to remind drivers of the need to pay extra attention in work zones to keep both themselves and workers safe.

“It’s important that drivers remember to look out for the safety of our road crews as they work hard to keep our streets and highways safe,” said Ohio Governor Mike DeWine.

“Paying attention, slowing down, and giving crews room to work are simple steps that all drivers can take to prevent tragedies in our work zones.”

In Ohio, there were 4,628 work zone-related crashes last year.

Of those, 21 were deadly resulting in 23 deaths. ODOT said none of its workers were killed in the crashes. Nationally, 117 workers were killed in work zone crashes last year.

The Ohio State Highway Patrol wrote 4,477 work zone citations in 2022 with 35 percent of them for speeds in excess of 20 miles per hour over the speed limit.

“Too many of these work zone crashes are the result of drivers not paying attention, speeding, or following the vehicle in front of them too closely,” said ODOT Director Jack Marchbanks.

“It is imperative that drivers give extra attention to the road in work zones and obey the speed limits and other signs so that everyone makes it home safe at the end of the day.”

Wednesday is Go Orange Day. The public is encouraged to wear orange to show awareness for work zone safety and support for road workers.

Steve Lafferty of Lima never returned to his job with ODOT following a work zone accident in 2002, and he shares his story below.