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/ Categories: NWZAW

National Work Zone Awareness Week observed across the country

Join ATSSA in observing 'Go Orange Day' today


ATSSA Director of Marketing & Communications



National Work Zone Awareness Week observed across the country

Join ATSSA in observing 'Go Orange Day' today

FREDERICKSBURG, Va. (April 22, 2020) – The American Traffic Safety Services Association (ATSSA) celebrates “Go Orange Day” today, which is the midpoint of National Work Zone Awareness Week (NWZAW), an event that emphasizes the need for diligence when approaching roadway work zones.

While most people remain at home and off the roads because of COVID-19 precautions, ATSSA members and departments of transportation (DOTs) across the country are busy making roadway repairs and taking other steps to advance roadway safety infrastructure. In some states, road projects are accelerating to take advantage of the light traffic.

NWZAW, which runs from April 20-24, highlights the importance of safe driving through work zones because of the risks of injury or death. In 2018, the most recent year for which statistics are available, 674 fatal crashes took place in work zones killing 754 people including 124 roadway workers, according to the National Work Zone Safety Information Clearinghouse.

NWZAW started in Virginia in 1997 and became a national event three years later after ATSSA teamed with the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) and the American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials (AAHSTO) to increase its exposure. The safety awareness campaign has grown throughout the years and ATSSA member companies have taken the lead, hosting events and initiatives to support NWZAW across the country.

The 20th anniversary theme was developed by Michigan’s Department of Transportation (MDOT) and is “Safe Work Zones for All: Protect workers. Protect road users.” It features a poster reminiscent of the World War II poster with Rosie the Riveter. In her place are a male and female roadway worker proclaiming the message of the original poster: “We Can Do It!”

ATSSA members and DOTs nationwide are joining in the effort to promote work zone safety through various social media campaigns, on billboards and through virtual events.

NWZAW began with Work Zone Safety Training Day on Monday. That day emphasizes the importance of laying the groundwork for safety through training of personnel. Companies were encouraged, as possible with current restrictions, to pause during the workday for safety demonstrations, discussions about safety policies and other prevention steps.

The official kickoff event, normally held on Tuesday, was canceled because of the global pandemic. MDOT was to host the event at the American Center for Mobility in Ypsilanti Township with speakers such as the governor scheduled to participate. Instead, MDOT will host the 2021 event with Virginia’s Department of Transportation hosting in 2022.

Today is Go Orange Day during which roadway safety professionals are encouraged to wear orange to show their support for work zone safety. Roadway safety professionals are encouraged to use the hashtag #Orange4Safety.

ATSSA President & CEO Stacy Tetschner said work zone safety requires us all to do our part.

“ATSSA supports National Work Zone Awareness Week because road workers’ and road users’ lives matter,” he said. “Let’s put an end to roadway tragedies and provide ‘Safe Work Zones for All.’ If everyone pitches in, ‘We Can Do It!’”

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