The Texas Department of Transportation Laredo District hosted a Partnering for Work Zone Safety Press Conference and Proclamation in observance of the 13th annual National Work Zone Awareness Week (April 23-27, 2012).
Scores of ardent work zone safety advocates to include judicial, law enforcement partners, contractor and TxDOT partners converged on the work zone site of the Cuatro Vientos Interchange located on Loop 20 at SH 359 to send a clear message that work zone safety is everyone’s responsibility, and that motorists should adhere to work zone speed limits or be subject to the consequences and penalties for not obeying state highway laws in work zones. To emphasize the importance of work zone safety,
City of Laredo Councilmember for District III and Mayor Pro Tempore Cindy Liendo Espinoza emphatically read a proclamation declaring this week, April 23-27, 2012 as National Work Zone Awareness Week in Laredo, Texas.
Also in attendance at today’s event were TxDOT Laredo District Administrator Melisa Montemayor, District Attorney for Webb and Zapata Counties Isidro R. Alaniz, Jr., Laredo Police Department Assistant Chief Jesus Torres, TxDOT Laredo Area Engineer Carlos G. Rodriguez, P.E., Ballenger Construction Safety Coordinator Elias Rosales, and Anderson Columbia Safety Officer Mark Garza.
The Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT) manages more than 1,000 highway projects at any given time on 80,000 miles of Texas roads. As such, work zones can be hazardous for both motorists and highway crews working to improve Texas’ highways. However, because of increased safety measures and public outreach, TxDOT has seen a decline in work zone fatalities for two consecutive years.
In 2010, 100 people were killed in highway construction and maintenance zones in Texas, down from 108 the previous year. While there has been a decline in work zone fatalities and crashes, there is still work to do. Since 1938, there have been 270 TxDOT employees killed, with 200 of those deaths occurring in work zones.
In 2010, the Laredo District had no work zone fatalities and 156 crashes. [For those districts with no fatalities, use this sentence: Thankfully, in 2010 the Laredo District had no fatalities, but we have had 156 crashes that occurred in a work zone. More than four out of five, or eighty–five percent, of those killed in work zones are drivers or their passengers. Speeding and inattention are the most common causes cited. Rear-end collisions account for one in three crashes.
Safety is TxDOTs first priority, no matter what job—behind the desk or on the highway.
● Slow down and follow posted speed limits. Traffic fines are double in work zones.
● Pay attention. Workers are often close to traffic.
● Be patient. Delays can be frustrating, but it only takes a few minutes to slow down in a work zone.
● Plan ahead, leave early to reach your destination.
Drive safe to be safe.