The Norman Transcript

Opinion

April 16, 2013

Drivers to seek work zone safety this week

NORMAN — The interstate overpass replacement project on Main Street and Lindsey Street and Canadian River bridge widening has made most area motorists more aware of work zones.

We’ve seen several crashes near the work zones but fortunately no roadway workers have been injured to date. Not that the weather is warming, there will be more workers on the road.

AAA Oklahoma reminds us that this is National Work Zone Awareness Week. Motorists are encouraged to slow down and stay alert in work zone areas

 Roadway workers face obvious risks to their safety but nearly 85 percent of those killed in work zone crashes are drivers or their passengers, not the roadway workers.

The number of lives lost in work zone-related traffic crashes nationally has decreased by more than 51 percent from 1,186 in 2002 to 576 in 2010, the most recent year for which national data are available.

 The Oklahoma Highway Safety Office reports in Oklahoma in 2011, there were 692 work zone-related crashes involving injury or death. Although this number is down from the 822 recorded in 2010, it is still the third highest total in the last 14 years.

AAA’s work zone safety tips for motorists include planning ahead for trips, reduce speed, remain alert. We’ll add our own. Put the phone down.

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