The Delaware Department of Transportation (DelDOT) is encouraging everyone to take part in National Work Zone Awareness Week (NWZAW), April 26-30, and to wear orange on Go Orange Day, April 28, as a reminder to use always caution and drive carefully in and around work zones.
NWZAW is held in April each year at the traditional start of the construction season, when the number of works on our nation’s roadways increases. The theme of this year’s campaign is “Drive Safe. Work Safe. Save Lives.”
- Drive Safe. When approaching a work zone, motorists should always slow down, follow all posted signs, be alert and remain calm. Risky driving behavior affects more than just the driver – everyone’s lives and families are at stake.
- Work Safe. Technology is helping to make work zones safer by collecting data and automating processes, which can remove workers from dangerous situations and provide motorists with important information. It is also a reminder that work zone safety begins with workers who are dedicated to safety.
- Save Lives. If we all work together, we can achieve zero deaths on our roads and in our work zones.
“DelDOT crews work hard to make the roads, highways, and bridges better and safer for those that live and travel through Delaware,” said Gov. John Carney. “We want to ensure that our workers in these work zones can return home safely to their families every night. That requires all motorists to minimize distractions, slow down and follow the posted work zone signs. Please do your part to keep our work zones safe and save lives.”
“One of our priorities at DelDOT is the safety of all of our employees,” said DelDOT Secretary Nicole Majeski. “There were over 47,000 work zones throughout Delaware in 2020, ranging from minor utility adjustments, maintenance activities, repaving projects, to large capital highway improvement projects, such as the I-95 Rehabilitation project in Wilmington. For the safety of all workers and motorists on the Delaware roadways, please slow down, stay alert and follow the posted signs in work zones. Remember to drive like you work here, because their lives depend on it.”
Among the efforts bringing attention to the risks are:
- A special NWZAW presentation on DelDOT’s YouTube Channel featuring Carney, Nicole Majeski, Col. Melissa Zebley of the Delaware State Police, Director of the Delaware Office of Highway Safety Kim Chesser, a representative from AAA Mid-Atlantic and firsthand accounts from DelDOT employees who were injured last year in work zones (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mwtizWGOphY).
- Go Orange Day is Wednesday, April 28. The public can join DelDOT in wearing orange in support of work-zone safety in honor of the families who have lost loved ones in work-zone crashes.
- When passing through the Newark, Biddles and Dover Toll Plazas or driving over the Indian River Inlet (Charles Cullen) Bridge, remember the lights shine orange during the month of April as reminder of the role people all play in work-zone safety.
NWZAW began in 1999, when the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA), the American Traffic Safety Services Association (ATSSA), and the American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials (AASHTO) signed a memorandum of agreement pledging to increase public awareness of work-zone safety issues through a national media campaign. Since then, awareness has continued to grow, with state agencies and other organizations sponsoring high-visibility education and outreach initiatives, officials noted.