MONTGOMERY – The Alabama Department of Transportation is joining many states across the nation to encourage drivers to slow down and eliminate distractions in work zones in recognition of National Work Zone Awareness Week, April 26 – 30. To help bring awareness to the importance of driving safely in work zones, ALDOT is launching the Move Over, Slow Down, Save Lives safety campaign.
During the spring and summer, motorists will see more construction and work zones on Alabama’s highways and interstates. This time of year is also when traffic on some Alabama roads increases with people heading south for vacation.
“Tragic loss of life that happens each year in work zones can be avoided,” said Allison Green, ALDOT Drive Safe Alabama coordinator. “Just move over and slow down, so that those working along the roadway and you and your passengers can all get home safely.”
A common misconception is that most of those killed in work zone crashes are workers. National statistics show that four out of every five of those killed are motorists. Although, when workers are present, workers are the most vulnerable to injury and death. Most work zone crashes are rear-end collisions, resulting from speeding or distractions such as cell phones.
Penalties for Construction Zone Violations Could Soon Change in Alabama
In Alabama, fines are doubled if a driver is caught speeding in a work zone where workers are present. The Alabama Senate passed a bill this year to expand the existing law regarding violations and fines in designated construction zones from only speeding fines to all moving violations. The bill also changes fines for violations in construction zones to the greater of $250 or double the amount prescribed by law outside a construction zone. If the bill passes the House of Representatives, it will go to Governor Ivey to be signed.
Preliminary numbers for 2020, show there were 2,378 work zone crashes in Alabama, resulting in 19 fatalities and 616 injuries. This is an increase in fatal crashes compared to 2019, when there were 3,126 work zone crashes, resulting in 16 fatalities and 812 injuries. In the United States, 842 people died in roadway work zone crashes in 2019.
ALDOT offers these tips for driving safely in work zones:
- Drive alert. Don’t drive distracted by texting, eating or other activities that take your hands off the wheel. Look for highway workers, reduced speed limits and narrow driving lanes.
- Slow down. Don’t drive beyond the posted speed limit through the work zone. Keep a safe distance from the vehicle ahead of you.
- Don’t tailgate. Watch for large trucks. Maintain a safe distance on all sides of your vehicle, so that you don’t clip a nearby vehicle and cause that vehicle to also crash into the work zone.
In recognition of this national campaign, Governor Kay Ivey has issued a proclamation naming April 26-30 as Work Zone Awareness Week in the state of Alabama.
For more information on National Work Zone Awareness Week, visit http://www.ops.fhwa.dot.gov/wz/outreach/wz_awareness.htm. Join the national conversation using #NWZAW or locally using #DriveSafeAL.
Know before you go. Check ALGOTraffic.com to find out if there are construction work zones along your path and allow extra time to navigate those areas.
ALDOT’s mission is to provide a safe, efficient, environmentally sound transportation network across Alabama. For additional information, visitwww.dot.state.al.us