FREDERICKSBURG, Va. (April 5, 2023) – The recent tragedy near Baltimore, Md., where six roadway workers were killed when one vehicle apparently collided with another before crashing into their work zone demonstrates the tremendous risk workers face each day while seeking to earn a living.
“These six individuals went to work that day simply to do their part to provide safe highways for the motoring public. But they didn’t make it home to their families, who are now left to grieve as they face life without them,” said ATSSA President & CEO Stacy Tetschner. “The roadway safety industry does its best to provide safe workspaces for its personnel and continually looks for new strategies to prevent such tragedies but the fact is, everyone plays a role in work zone safety and we need everyone to work with us.”
National Work Zone Awareness Week (NWZAW) was established more than two decades ago to increase attention to the need for motorists to exercise caution when approaching and passing through roadway work zones. Statistics show that the people at greatest risk from work zone crashes are drivers and their passengers.
This year’s National Work Zone Awareness Week is April 17-21 with the National Kickoff Event hosted by the Missouri Department of Transportation MoDOT on April 18 at 10 a.m. CT 11 a.m. ET. The event will be held at the new Interstate 70 westbound bridge over the Missouri River near Rocheport. It will be livestreamed with a link and other details posted by MoDOT.
This year’s theme is: “You play a role in work zone safety. Work with us.”
Speakers expected at the National Kickoff Event include Federal Highway Administration Executive Director Gloria Shepherd and relatives of a worker who was killed in a Missouri work zone. Missouri Department of Transportation Director Patrick McKenna, a member of the Missouri Highways and Transportation Commission and a representative from the Missouri State Highway Patrol are also expected to speak.
Each day of National Work Zone Awareness Week has a distinct focus:
April 17 – Work Zone Safety Training Day in which companies are encouraged to pause during the workday for safety demonstrations, discussions about safety policies and other prevention steps to protect people in work zones.
April 18 – National Kickoff Event as described above. In addition, private companies and departments of transportation across the country organize events in their locations.
April 19 – Go Orange Day when everyone is encouraged to wear orange to show support for work zone safety and the families of victims who have lost their lives in work zones. Photos can be posted on social media with #NWZAW and #Orange4Safety.
April 20 – Social media storm in which organizations, companies, agencies and individuals are encouraged to share messages and use hashtags #NWZAW and #WorkZoneSafety on social media posts between 9 a.m. and 4 p.m. ET.
April 21 – Moment of Silence during which everyone is encouraged to pause to remember the men, women and children who have lost their lives in work zone incidents.
For additional information about NWZAW and its history, check NWZAW.org.
The following public service announcements are available for use by the media:
Hundreds of people are killed every year in work zone crashes. Most are drivers, their passengers and pedestrians. That means, as this year’s National Work Zone Awareness Week message says, “You play a role in work zone safety. Work with us.” National Work Zone Awareness Week is April 17-21. Please do your part.
National Work Zone Awareness Week’s mission is to save lives. Of the 857 people killed in work zone crashes in 2020, most were drivers, their passengers and pedestrians. As this year’s message says: “You play a role in work zone safety. Work with us.” National Work Zone Awareness Week is April 17-21. Join us in spreading the word to drive safely through roadway work zones.
“You play a role in work zone safety. Work with us.” That is the message of National Work Zone Awareness Week, held April 17-21 this year. Pay attention as you approach a roadway work zone, remove distractions and slow your vehicle. Getting safely through a work zone could save your life and that of your passengers. In 2020, 857 people were killed in work zone crashes, most of them drivers, their passengers and pedestrians.