The City of Bellingham is "going orange" to draw attention to work zone safety, during National Work Zone Awareness Week April 15-19, 2013.
"As spring weather returns and the construction season begins in earnest, orange signs, vests and cones return along Bellingham streets as well as state highways. Drivers need to be alert and careful through work zones," said Ted Carlson, Public Works Director. "Road workers are doing their part to build and improve the streets we all depend on, so let's keep them safe by obeying posted speed limits and putting cell phones away."
Each year in April, National Work Zone Awareness Week brings national attention to motorist and worker safety in work zones. National Work Zone Awareness Week, now entering its second decade, provides an opportunity for the highway industry to remind its employees and the public about safety in work zones.
Statistics suggest the effort is having a positive effect on safety. According to U.S. Department of Transportation data, overall roadway fatalities fell in 2010 by three percent from 2009 to 32,788, the lowest level since 1949. In 2009, the most recent year for which data are available, highway work-zone fatalities fell to the lowest level since 1992, despite the presence of thousands of new highway projects. Work zone fatalities fell each year between 2002 and 2009 and dropped by more than 7 percent from 720 in 2008 to 667 in 2009. Overall work zone fatalities and injuries have fallen by 35 percent since 2000.
More than four of every five victims in a work zone crash are motorists, which is why it is particularly important for drivers to remain alert while driving through work zones. The Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) has taken steps in the past several years to improve work zone design, increase training, strengthen law enforcement near work zones and heighten awareness among drivers, which have helped reduce the number of work zone fatalities to record lows.
Bellingham has seen no reportable collisions involving a work zone. To keep it that way, the City electronic messaging boards will be placed around town to remind motorists to slow down in work zones and keep everyone safe. City employees are encouraged to wear orange on Wednesday, April 17, as a reminder that " We're All In This Together: Roadway Work Zone Safety ", the national slogan for 2013.
Since 1999, the Federal Highway Administration has worked with the American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials (AASHTO) and the American Traffic Safety Services Association (ATSSA) to coordinate and sponsor the event.
Washington State is a partner and the City of Bellingham encourages
everyone to slow down in a work zone to keep everyone safe.
Published: April 11 2013