Tag Archives: work zone safety

NEWS RELEASE – UDOT Urges Drivers: “We Don’t Speed Through Your Office – Please Don’t Speed Through Ours”

 For Immediate Release


UDOT Urges Drivers: “We Don’t Speed Through Your Office –

Please Don’t Speed Through Ours”

 

Department reminds Utahns to be careful in construction zones as part of

National Work Zone Awareness Week 

 

SALT LAKE CITY (April 5, 2017) – The Utah Department of Transportation (UDOT) on Wednesday issued a plea to drivers during National Work Zone Awareness Week: use caution when traveling through work zones.

To stress the importance of work zone safety, UDOT Executive Director Carlos Braceras moved his office to a temporary location this morning inside the lane split on the I-215 west belt to demonstrate what conditions are like for construction workers in the middle of a busy freeway.

“We do everything we can to make Utah’s roads safe, both for the traveling public, as well as our construction workers,” Braceras said. “In order for all of us to go home safe to our families each night, we need everyone to do their part.”

Last year in Utah, there were 3,024 crashes in work zones that caused 1,229 injuries and 11 deaths. Many construction workers have experienced close calls or personally witnessed work zone crashes.

“A few months ago, a group of our workers on I-215 had closed a ramp to do some maintenance,” said Corey Bekkemellom, I-215 senior inspector. “A car drove through the barrels into the closure and headed up the ramp. I had to pull my truck in front of the driver to get him to stop, before he hit our crew.”

April 3-7 is National Work Zone Awareness Week, sponsored by the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA). Transportation agencies and construction companies nationwide participate in events and media outreach to encourage safe practices by drivers and workers.

UDOT offers the following tips for drivers when traveling in work zones:

  • Stay alert and minimize distractions. In work zones, drivers need to keep their eyes on the road and watch for changing conditions such as shifting lanes, slowed or stopped traffic, etc.
  • Obey posted signs and signals. These signs and signals are posted to ensure safety and to keep traffic flowing during construction.
  • Follow the posted speed limit. Speeds are frequently reduced in work zones due to narrow lanes, changes to on- or off-ramp locations, and the proximity of construction workers to traffic. In Utah, fines are doubled for traffic violations in work zones, so be sure to slow down.

“Our goal is zero crashes, injuries, and fatalities,” Braceras said. “Accomplishing this requires a partnership with the driving public. As a department, we are committed to do everything in our power to work toward that goal, and we will need everyone’s help to make it a reality.”

 

 

-UDOT-

Media Contact:
John Gleason
UDOT Public Information Officer
jgleason@utah.gov
Cell: 801-560-7740

MEDIA EVENT – UDOT Leader to Move His Office to Active Work Zone

UDOT Leader to Move His Office to Active Work Zone

 Briefing to be held at temporary office in I-215 construction zone as part of National Work Zone Safety Week

WHAT:
A briefing will be conducted in the I-215 construction area to provide media with a first-hand experience of working conditions in the middle of a busy freeway. UDOT Executive Director Carlos Braceras will speak from his new desk in his temporary “office” in the middle of the work zone to encourage drivers to use caution so they, as well as construction crews, can return home safely at the end of each day.

Media members will also be able to speak with UDOT and construction workers who have experienced work zone safety incidents or near misses to illustrate the importance of slowing down, paying attention, and obeying posted signs.

WHEN:
Wednesday, April 5, at 9 a.m.

* Journalists must be present for a safety orientation, which will begin promptly at 9:15. Shuttle vehicles will leave at 9:25 a.m., as attendees will be escorted to the work zone for on-site interviews and filming, then returned to UDOT’s Region Two.

WHERE:
UDOT Region 2
2010 South 2760 West
(The building north of the Traffic Operations Center)

* To enter the construction zone, participants must wear long pants and closed-toed shoes. In addition, personal protective equipment will be provided and must be worn. Any individuals not in proper attire will not be allowed in the work zone.

WHO:
Carlos Braceras, UDOT executive director
Construction workers

VISUALS:
–  UDOT Executive Director Carlos Braceras seated at his desk in the middle of a construction zone
–  Up-close view of construction crews and machinery, including concrete pavers, dump trucks, and other construction equipment
–  View of the construction zone and live traffic passing on I-215

 

-UDOT-

Media Contact:
John Gleason
Public Information Office
jgleason@utah.gov
Cell: 801-560-7740

Slow Down for National Work Zone Safety Week

Work Zone

We are teaming up with the Association of General Contractors to celebrate National Work Zone Safety Week by reminding drivers to slow down and focus on the road, especially in work zones.

In 2015, a total of 2,849 motor vehicle crashes occurred in Utah work zones, resulting in 10 deaths. According to the Federal Highway Administration, speeding was a factor in 29 percent of all fatal work zone crashes in 2014, while distracted driving contributed to 16 percent. Currently there have been zero fatalities in Utah work zones in 2016.

“We are doing everything we can to keep our work zones safe for those who travel through them and those who work in them. But there’s only so much we can do. We need the public’s help,” said UDOT Executive Director Carlos Braceras. “Slow down, put down the phone, be alert, and obey the laws – especially when driving through a work zone.”

In addition, UDOT release a 30-second PSA to remind drivers of the risks UDOT workers face every day in the work zone. The PSA is told from the perspective of UDOT employees’ children, who want to see their parents come home safe every night.

“Work zones are places where real people do their jobs every day,” said Rich Thorn, president and CEO of the Associated General Contractors. “They have families and other people who care about them and want to see them come home safe. Knowing that should motivate drivers to be alert and slow down in work zones.”

Safety is the number one priority for each of UDOT’s more than 150 projects this year.  For example, the Point project requires every employee to participate in weekly safety training. Also, to further protect it’s 1,500 employees from traffic, crews placed more than 24 miles of concrete barrier, which is 50 percent more than the contract required, as this barrier provides a safer work zone for employees.

Work zones are dynamic places that can change from minute to minute. UDOT urges drivers to be safe and help reach Zero Fatalities by:

  • Driving the posted speed limit.
  • Paying 100 percent attention to the roadway, as lanes are often narrowed and shifted for construction.
  • Eliminating distracting activities, such as changing radio/music, using mobile devices (surfing, tweeting, talking, texting), eating and drinking, putting on makeup, and reaching while driving.
  • Minimizing lane changes within the work zone.
  • Merging into the proper lane well before reaching a lane closure.
  • Watching out for workers and their equipment in the work zone, as they can be especially hard to see at night.

UDOT encourages drivers to check the UDOT Traffic App (available for Android and Apple devices) to view current traffic conditions, locate work zones, or plan the best route before travel. Drivers are also encouraged to TRAVELWise around freeway construction by adjusting schedules to travel during less-congested times of day. Drivers can also take transit or telework to skip congestion and work zones.

The U.S. Department of Transportation and the Federal Highway Administration celebrate National Work Zone Safety Week each spring to bring national attention to motorist and worker safety in work zones. UDOT continues to participate in this observance in order to raise driver awareness, protect employees and reach Zero Fatalities in work zones.