Slow down in highway work zones

4/14/2022, 6 p.m.
April 11-15 is National Work Zone Awareness Week.

April 11-15 is National Work Zone Awareness Week.

As stewards of taxpayer dollars, we are entrusted to safely deliver quality transportation improvements on time and on budget. You will see Virginia Department of Transportation crews and contractors in work zones conducting construction and maintenance activities. Our work directly serves the Commonwealth and the 14-county Richmond District’s residents and communities 24/7, 365 days a year. We are honored to Keep Virginia Moving.

We are professionals and have prepared for your safe travel through our work space. Despite our best efforts, highway work zones can be dangerous for our crews and those driving through. Sobering numbers back that up.

In 2021:

• Crashes within a work zone increased 41 percent;

• Fatalities within a work zone increased 155 percent;

• Injuries within a work zone increased 20 percent;

• Speeding crashes within a work zone in- creased 35 percent; and

• Distracted Driving crashes within a work zone increased 27 percent.

We’ve also seen the deadly trend across the country. In 2010, the United States saw 586 fatalities in work zones. By 2019, the number was up to 842, a 43 percent increase. In far too many cases, driver inattention or reckless behavior is to blame.

Simply put, this loss of lives can be prevented, but we need your help. We do not work alone. Each time you drive into one of our necessary work zones, you become part of our team. A safe work zone requires a total team effort.

As a team member, when you enter a work zone remember:

• Work zones are a sign to slow down.

• Pay attention to the road in front of you.

• Ignore your phone and other distractions.

• Drive defensively.

Highway workers deserve safe working conditions. In order to have a safe workplace, they rely on drivers to stay safe and alert. Highway crews and drivers must work together to ensure safety on Virginia’s highways.

Please commit yourself to teamwork by putting safety first in highway work zones. Our choices matter and they have consequences. Let’s all go home to our families safely. Far too often, someone does not.


VDOT Richmond District engineer