Work zone fatalities up 27 percent in Texas

By Mark Lane (@therealmarklane)

 

AUSTIN — 181 people died last year in work zone fatalities, a 27 percent increase. 96 percent (174) of those fatalities were motorists, pedestrians, and bicyclists.

“People often think work zone crashes result in the deaths of roadside workers, but statistics show the vast majority of these fatalities are drivers like you and me who are passing through as motorists,” said Texas Department of Transportation Executive Director James Bass. “We urge you to pay attention and adhere to posted traffic signs when driving through work zones to ensure your safety and the safety of the men and women who are working on our roads. At the end of the day, we want everyone to return home safely to their loved ones.”

April 3-7 is National Work Zone Awareness Week and TxDOT reminds drivers that every single day requires caution when driving through work zones. The leading causes of fatal work zone crashes across the state are speeding and failure to stay in a single lane, two entirely preventable causes.

According to TxDOT, by law, drivers are required to move over or slow down when approaching work crews, emergency vehicles or tow trucks stopped on the roadside or shoulder with flashing blue or amber lights. Traffic fines in work zones double when workers are present and can cost up to $2,000.

To raise awareness of work zones, TxDOT is partnering with Texas Mutual Insurance Company to host events around the state. For more information, visit www.txdot.gov