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For Work Zone Awareness Week officials stress patience in work zone areas

Published: Apr. 28, 2021 at 5:47 PM MDT
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TWIN FALLS, Idaho (KMVT/KSVT) — In 2020, there were 753 crashes in work zones resulting in 5 deaths, which brought about the theme for this years Work Zone Awareness week: drive safe, work safe, save lives.

Work Zone Awareness week is being recognized all across the United States during the last week of April, as a time to educate and bring awareness to work zone safety.

“We have workers unfortunately that lose their lives here in Idaho and across the nation in work zones as well as the travelling public,” said Aubrie Spence with ITD.

During work zone awareness week, the Idaho Transportation Department is reminding drivers of how important it is to remain vigilant while behind the wheel.

“Since 1960, ITD has lost over 40 workers in work zones, but it’s not just workers who are affected when we don’t pay attention when we are driving through a work zone,” said Spence. “Over 80% nationally of fatalities in work zones have been drivers or passengers, every one of those deaths is somebody’s friend, somebody’s family members, somebody’s loved one.”

Idaho State Police says most of the crashes in work zones are due to people following too closely to the car in front of them.

“A lot of people come into the construction zones, the speed is reduced, so what happens is, everyone starts bottlenecking, and then people are going to fast into the construction zones and then they end up staying way too close to the vehicles in front of them,” said Steve Otto, a patrol trooper.

Work zones can pop up at any time in the warmer months and ISP says drivers need to give themselves extra time to get where they are going.

“I know that they are very thankful for our presence in construction zones as well, oftentimes, they are right next to traffic moving barrels, adjusting signs that have fallen over and whatnot,” said Otto. “So every time we drive by they wave and they are very appreciative of us being there, so I’m glad we can try to slow traffic down for them as well.”

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