UPDATE 2: A fact sheet from FHWA is now available with updated statistics.

UPDATE: Federal statistics just released provide updated information on work zone traffic fatalities for 2022. In 2022, 891 people were killed in work zone traffic fatalities, including 742 drivers and passengers and 145 bicyclists or persons on foot. Another four people were killed in work zones on personal conveyances or in the category of unknown occupant types of a motor vehicle in transport and occupants of a vehicle not in transport.

Additional information is expected to be available soon from the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) in its fact sheet as part of the National Work Zone Awareness Week resources list.

 

NEWS RELEASE

Contact: Maria Robertson

ATSSA Director of Marketing & Communications

communications@atssa.com

 

Maryland workers to be honored at NWZAW national kickoff

National Work Zone Awareness Week kickoff event will overlook site of six deaths in 2023

FREDERICKSBURG, Va. (April 4, 2024) – The horrific tragedy that killed six roadway workers near Baltimore, Md., in March 2023 illustrates the critical importance of driving responsibly when approaching work zones.

That incident and the six people killed—Carlos Orlando Villatoro Escobar, Jose Armando Escobar, Rolando Ruiz, Mahlon Simmons II, Mahlon Simmons III and Sybil Lee Dimaggio—will be remembered at the national kickoff for National Work Zone Awareness Week (NWZAW) on April 16.

The event is hosted by the Maryland Department of Transportation (MDOT) and will be held at a location along Interstate 695 overlooking the site of that work zone crash. The invitation-only event is expected to be livestreamed with a link and other details posted by MDOT.

Organizers also plan to honor a worker killed in December and address the recent loss of six additional roadway workers who were on the Francis Scott Key Bridge in Baltimore on March 26 when it collapsed after being struck by a cargo ship.

This year’s National Work Zone Awareness Week is April 15-19. The theme is, “Work zones are temporary. Actions behind the wheel can last forever.

“Men and women shouldn’t need to fear for their lives when going to work to provide safe highways for the motoring public. Unfortunately, that is the reality,” said ATSSA President & CEO Stacy Tetschner. “Drivers need to pay attention to signs that a work zone is ahead, realize that the work being done is to benefit them and exercise caution. One life lost is too many.”

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.

In 2021, the most recent year for which statistics are available, 956 people were killed in work zones with another 42,000 injured, according to the National Work Zone Safety Information Clearinghouse.

Several government officials are expected for the National Kickoff Event, including a worker who survived a work zone crash. That same day, more than 200 transportation vehicles are expected to participate in a “Unity Ride” around the I-695 Beltway in support of work zone safety.

The U.S. Senate recently passed a resolution in support of National Work Zone Awareness Week.

Each day of National Work Zone Awareness Week has a distinct focus:

  • April 15 – 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 16 – National Kickoff Event as described above. In addition, private companies and departments of transportation across the country organize events in their locations.
  • April 17 – 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 18 – 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 19 – 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, “Work zones are temporary. Actions behind the wheel can last forever.” National Work Zone Awareness Week is April 15-19. Please do your part.
  • National Work Zone Awareness Week’s mission is to save lives. Of the 956 people killed in work zone crashes in 2021, most were drivers, their passengers and pedestrians. As this year’s message says: “Work zones are temporary. Actions behind the wheel can last forever.” National Work Zone Awareness Week is April 15-19. Join us in spreading the word to drive safely through roadway work zones.
  • “Work zones are temporary. Actions behind the wheel can last forever.” That is the message of National Work Zone Awareness Week, held April 15-19 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 2021, 956 people were killed in work zone crashes, most of them drivers, their passengers and pedestrians.

Additional hashtags for NWZAW include: #NWZAW #SafeWorkZonesForAll #WorkZoneSafety #StandDown4Safety #SaferRoadsSaveLives #GoOrange4Safety

 

 

 

Published Date

April 4, 2024

Post Type

  • News
  • Press Release

Topic

  • ATSSA News
  • NWZAW

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