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 Public Information Officer