ODOT encourages safe driving during National Work Zone Awareness Week

Picture: MGN
Picture: MGN(KKTV)
Published: Apr. 22, 2020 at 9:16 AM EDT
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Even with fewer people driving during the COVID-19 restrictions, there are still plenty of dangers on the job for road crews.

Ohio is joining with other states to remind drivers to be extra safe in work zones this year, during National Work Zone Awareness Week. Wednesday is Wear Orange Day.

"The key things are to just obey the signs," Matt Bruning, press secretary with the Ohio Department of Transportation said. "You know, speed limits in work zones are set for a reason, and that reason is safety, not just for workers but for motorists as well. It doesn't matter if there's a lot of vehicles or just a few vehicles, the danger is always real for our people."

According to ODOT, nine crews have been struck since Valentine's Day. The last crew was struck on March 27 in Hancock County, near Findlay. And that was even after the stay-at-home order was in place.

According to Bruning, construction zones have been expanded because crews are required to bring their own vehicles to work, allowing for social distancing.

Since traffic volumes are low, lane restrictions have been waived, allowing more work to get accomplished during the day.

"We've actually been able to get a lot of work that we would normally reserve only for overnights to get done during the day, and so that has allowed us to get more work done and get projects done a little faster," Bruning said.

The message of National Work Zone Awareness Week is fairly simple but extremely important -- when you drive in a work zone or see workers in the road, slow down, move over and pay attention.