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Thursday, April 2, 2009

PENNDOT LAUNCHES NEW CAMPAIGN FOR WORK ZONE AWARENESS WEEK


Motorists Encouraged to
Cone-Trol’ Their Driving
in Work Zones


HARRISBURG – The nearly $3 billion worth of highway and bridge projects coming to Pennsylvania this year will result in a greater number of work zones than ever before, according to PennDOT Secretary Allen D. Biehler, P.E. To help increase safety in work zones, PennDOT is launching a new work zone awareness campaign.

“With a record of nearly $3 billion being invested in roads and bridges this year, it’s going to be a busy construction season with many work zones,” Biehler said. “We’re asking every motorist to help keep our workers – and themselves – safe from harm by obeying speed limits and paying attention.”

Although work zone crashes are on the decline in Pennsylvania, any crash holds the potential for tragedy. Last year, in more than 1,400 work zone crashes, nearly 1,000 people were injured and 23 died, including two highway workers.
To highlight work zone safety, PennDOT is introducing a new campaign which asks drivers to “cone-trol” their driving in work zones. The campaign coincides with National Work Zone Awareness Week, which runs from April 6-10.

As part of the campaign, Pennsylvanians are invited to follow the story of one particular traffic cone as it tours various construction and maintenance projects around the state. By visiting www.dot.state.pa.us/followthecone, citizens can learn more about work zone safety, as well as why these projects are critical to improving and maintaining roads and bridges.

Visitors to the Follow the Cone page can also download a 30-second radio public service announcement related to work zone safety.

“Often in work zones, there is only a cone or barrel separating workers from traffic, while flaggers with our maintenance crews may not even have that visual barrier,” Biehler said. “That’s why we ask motorists to obey posted speed limits and avoid all distractions.”

Drivers should pay close attention to flaggers and signs. Motorists should maintain a safe distance around vehicles, and use four-way flashers when stopped or traveling slowly. Finally, PennDOT reminds drivers to turn on their headlights if signs instruct them to do so. Driving without headlights can result in a $25 fine if a motorist is stopped and cited for another violation.

Pennsylvania law states that motorists caught driving 11 miles per hour or more above the posted speed limit in work zones and are involved in a crash will automatically lose their license for 15 days. The law also doubles the fines for certain traffic violations, such as speeding and driving under the influence, if they occur in an active work zone.

PennDOT-CONEtrol_Radio_PSA.MP3
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