It’s National Work Zone Awareness Week

We’ve been recognizing National Work Zone Awareness week which kicked off on Monday, aimed at keeping construction workers safe on our highways.

So what should do as a driver to do your part in keeping our road crews safe?

According to Texas Department of Transportation, traffic deaths in Texas work zones increased by 33% last year and killing almost 250 people.

Most of the time, it’s just a white line or cone separating fast moving traffic from working crews. That’s why it’s important to “move over or slow down” -- it’s the law.

In Texas, if there’s an emergency or active construction, you have to slow down 20 miles per hour below the speed limit or move over a lane. Traffic fines double in work zones when workers are present and can cost up to $2,000.

The “Be Safe. Drive Smart.” TXDOT campaign offers five tips for driving safely through a work zone:

1. Slow down. Follow the posted speed limit and adjust your driving to match road conditions.

2. Pay attention. Avoid distractions, keep your mind on the road and put your phone away.

3. Watch out for road crews. The only protective gear they wear is reflective clothing, a hardhat, and safety boots. Always follow flaggers’ instructions and be mindful of construction area road signs.

4. Don’t tailgate. Give yourself room to stop in a hurry, should you need to. Rear-end collisions are the most common kind of work zone crashes.

5. Allow extra time. Road construction can slow things down. Count on it, and plan for it.

Anavid Reyes

KPRC 2 traffic expert


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About the Authors:

Traffic expert and What’s Driving Houston reporter, proud Latina, lover of animals, food and our beautiful planet.

Amanda Cochran is an Edward R. Murrow award-winning journalist. She specializes in Texas features, consumer and business news and local crime coverage.