Department of Transportation kicks off National Work Zone Awareness Week
LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (KATV) —
Work zone areas can be a dangerous place for people who spend upwards of 12 hours working at them.
When you speak with those workers, they say, it's because people are either distracted or speeding.
Contractor's Specialty Service road striping superintendent, Shawn Hardin, says he can remember numerous incidences his crew's life was in danger.
"[I] actually had a couple of our guys almost get run over last year by a truck driver that was not paying attention and hit is brakes and run in behind the barrels on our guys," Hardin said.
Luckily, in that moment, they all survived thanks to extra precautions his crew takes on the job.
"Had they had their back to the traffic,” said Hardin, “they probably wouldn't be around here to talk about it."
But the Department of Transportation has kicked off National Work Zone Awareness Week, to advocate vigilance for drivers going through construction areas.
Workers, like Hardin, say it's as simple as following signage and watching your speed.
"When you pass the orange signs, coming into a work zone, slow down to the speed's asked," Hardin said.
According to the DOT, there were 765 work zone deaths in 2016 alone, so, whether it's building roads, or striping them, safety is crucial.
"Go the speed limit, slow down, and just be mindful of us," Scott King, another superintendent from Contractor’s Specialty Service, said.
"We know that we're in the way sometimes but the situation is going to be better when we're all done and through with the project so we ask that you just keep an eye out for us, watch your speeds and please stay off the cell phone," Hardin said.
That number of 765, was a seven percent rise from the previous year of 2015.