National Go Orange Day to mark fourth year
Roadway safety and infrastructure industry members will don orange nationwide
National Go Orange Day, designated to help raise work zone safety awareness, will celebrate its fourth year on Apr. 10. The event has become a staple of National Work Zone Awareness Week (NWZAW), and is a time for individuals and organizations across the country to express their support for work zone safety by wearing orange.
The event is annually held on the Wednesday of NWZAW, which will take place from April 8-12, 2019.
NWZAW and Go Orange Day aim to highlight the importance of work zone safety and using extra caution in and around work zones. Numerous roadway workers are involved in crashes on the job, and some don't survive these incidents. Jimmie Harris, with the Virginia Department of Transportation (VDOT), was involved in a work zone crash while on the job.
“The truck driver came at us with squealing tires, sliding sideways all the way down the road,” Harris said. “He went up the roadway for about 100 yards before he stopped—before he could stop. At that moment I didn’t realize we had been hit.”
In an effort to stop crashes like the one Harris was involved in, this nationwide effort was first introduced by the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) as a new component of NWZAW in 2016. ATSSA has since organized and sponsored a social media campaign as part of its contribution to the effort. In 2016 about 100 organizations, including ATSSA members, from across the country posted images of various Go Orange Day efforts. ATSSA’s 2018 campaign demonstrated a global reach, with organizations from across the United States mentioning @ATSSAHQ on Twitter or @ATSSATraffic on Facebook and tagging #orangeforsafety in their social media posts and interactions. This year, the hashtag #Orange4Safety will also be used.
Among those hosting NWZAW events last year, the New England ATSSA Chapter hosted the American Traffic Safety Services Foundation’s (The Foundation) National Work Zone Memorial at their press conference event in Montpelier, Vermont, on Apr. 3, 2018.
“Since 2012, five people have been killed in work zones on Vermont roadways, three of whom were work zone workers. ATSSA is committed to supporting the roadway safety infrastructure industry’s move Toward Zero Deaths on all U.S. roads. Although this is an ambitious goal, a goal of anything less is unacceptable,” said Debra Ricker, immediate past chair of the ATSSA Board of Directors and president of Worksafe Traffic Control Industries.
Several ATSSA member companies also participated in NWZAW and Go Orange Day. The ATSSA team hosted a Facebook Live event where staff members shared the importance of roadway safety and what it means to them in their jobs and daily lives.
This year, the 19th kick-off event will be held in Washington, D.C. and will be hosted by the District Department of Transportation on Apr. 9. This year's NWZAW theme is "Drive Like You Work Here.” Remember to wear orange on Go Orange Day on Apr. 10. Use #orange4safety and #NWZAW in social media posts and don't forget to tag us: @ATSSAHQ on Twitter and @ATSSATraffic on Facebook. For more details about the NWZAW, visit NWZAW.org.