DelDOT Launches Work Zone Awareness Campaign - WBOC-TV 16, Delmarvas News Leader, FOX 21 -

DelDOT Launches Work Zone Awareness Campaign

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 MILLVILLE, Del.-You may notice more construction workers than usual on some roads in Delaware because construction season is under way. Delaware Department of Transportation (DelDOT) officials launched a campaign about the importance of drivers traveling with extra caution through work zones.

It is National Work Zone Awareness Week, which runs from March 23rd-27th in Delaware. State officials are running a campaign called, “Work Zones, Respect the Orange and Black.”  Officials are raising awareness about the importance of driving with caution through work zones. AAA Mid-Atlantic is co-sponsoring the campaign. 

In a statement, Gov. Jack Markell (D-DE) said, “as warm weather arrives, work zones become increasingly familiar sights along Delaware roads, but we should not let familiarity become complacency.”

“Even though many of us will be driving through every day, we should continue to keep our eyes wide open and obey the posted rules of the road. Lives depend upon it,” the governor said.

 Orange and white traffic barrels have been in place for a while on Route 26 or Atlantic Avenue near Millville. It is one of many work zones people like Rob Prikryl have to travel through. 

"I'm never in a rush, so it doesn't bother me,” Prikryl said. “If you're a local here, you know ways to get around.”

However, that is not the case for everyone and it makes people like Karen Monroe of Georgetown nervous. Monroe works for a plumbing company. She said crews are constantly on the front lines, setting up water connections. She said some drivers do not respect the work zones.

"I feel bad for the guys. I have guys on my crews that have to flag sometimes,” Monroe said. 

"People don't pay attention to them at times, and it's a shame because I'm afraid one of them is going to get hurt really bad."

According to DelDOT officials, four out of five victims of work zone crashes are actually drivers or their passengers. Generally, crashes occur when drivers speed through a work zone or do not pay attention to the changing road conditions and run into other vehicles, highway equipment or safety barriers, or drive off the roadway completely. 

In a typical five-day workweek, an average of seven motorists and one worker are killed nationwide. The primary causes of work zone crashes are following too closely and inattentive driving.

Some simple tips for improving work zone safety include:

•  When you see the “orange and black,” be extra cautious.

•  Warning signs will let you know what to expect.

•  Barrels or cones will delineate your path of travel.

•  Flag persons will help direct you along the way.

•  Avoid distractions.

•  Don't tailgate.

•  Don't change lanes.

•   Slow down and expect the unexpected.
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