Reminder to drive safely in road work zones
The Nevada Department of Transportation and Nevada Highway Patrol are reminding motorists to drive safely in road work zones during National Work Zone Awareness Week, held April 7-11, and throughout the year.
Last year, two Nevada Department of Transportation contractors lost their lives after being struck by an inattentive motorist while making improvements to Interstate 80 in northeastern Nevada. An NDOT maintenance employee is also still recovering after being struck and severely injured while working on a Fallon-area state roadway last summer.
“There were nearly 600 crashes in Nevada work zones last year,” Nevada Highway Patrol Trooper Dave Gibson said. “Whether it’s slowing down, buckling up or generally focusing on the road, we all can help make it zero fatalities on the road for ourselves and our families by giving the road your undivided attention, particularly in road work zones. If you commit a traffic violation in a marked construction zone, you will be cited and the fines will be doubled.”
“We’re here to provide a safe and mobile transportation system, and we want to let drivers know about this summer’s road projects and how to safely travel through them,” NDOT Director Rudy Malfabon explained.
Work zone driving tips and information on major NDOT road projects is available at http://www.nevadadot.com. Updates on current state road conditions are available by logging onto http://www.nvroads.com or calling ‘511’ before driving.
National Work Zone Awareness Week is sponsored by the Federal Highway Administration to bring national attention to motorist and worker safety and mobility in work zones.
“Many sections of our nation’s roads will be busy with workers and drivers in the coming months as construction activity picks up,” said FHWA Deputy Administrator Greg Nadeau. “By following the rules of the road in work zones, we can keep people safe during National Work Zone Awareness Week and all year long.”
SAFE WORK ZONE DRIVING TIPS
· Always buckle up and do not drive under the influence of drugs or alcohol, or while sleepy.
· Minimize distractions, and remember that handheld cellphone use is illegal while driving.
· Always slow to posted work zone speed limits and slow for and obey construction signs and flaggers.
· Don’t tailgate. Keep a safe distance from cars ahead, traffic barriers, construction equipment and workers.
· Watch for and follow all warning, lane/ramp closure and construction detour signs, and be prepared to change lanes or merge as directed by road signs or flaggers.
· Continue to pay attention to work zone signs, even in areas of long-term road work.
· Remain calm. Remember that work zones are not there to inconvenience you, they are necessary to improve the roadway and safely guide motorists through the area.
· Don’t resume normal driving speed until you see roadway signs indicating it is safe to do so.
· Plan ahead and give yourself time to reach your destination.
Remember: Double Penalty for traffic violations in Work Zones.
Nevada law doubles the penalty for speeding, up to $1,000, in any marked road construction or maintenance work zone when workers are present.