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This past year fewer people were killed in work zone crashes all throughout Texas, The Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT) is asking all drivers to stay vigilant and help continue that downward trend of traffic fatalities. As National Work Zone Awareness Week wraps up, TxDOT’s “Be Safe Drive Smart” campaign reminds drivers to stay alert when driving in and around road construction areas.

Traffic fatalities in Texas work zones are down an amazing 16% for 2022, decreasing for the first time since 2018. Despite that, 205 people were killed and another 788 were seriously injured in Texas work zone crashes last year. Of all the people killed last year, 85% of them, were drivers and/or their passengers.

“Although it’s encouraging to see a reduction in the number of work zone crashes and fatalities last year, one life lost is too many,” said TxDOT Executive Director Marc Williams. “We’re calling on all Texas drivers to slow down and stay alert when traveling through work zones. Doing so could save a life, including your own.”
Source: TxDOT Work Zone Awareness press release

During this year's National Work Zone Awareness Week there are five tips TxDOT would like for all drivers to practice in order to keep the fatality numbers going down. Read and memorize all five tips as they'll help you be a better safer driver.

  1. Slow down. Follow the posted speed limit and proactively adjust your driving to match road conditions. Excessive speed is one of the leading causes of work zone crashes.
  2. Pay attention. Avoid distractions, keep your mind on the road, and put your phone away.
  3. Watch out for road crews. Roadside workers want to get home safely, too. Always follow instructions and be mindful of construction area road signs.
  4. Don’t tailgate. Give yourself room to stop in a hurry, should traffic stop suddenly. Rear-end collisions are the most common type of work zone crashes.
  5. Allow extra time. Road construction can slow things down. Count on it, and plan for it.

TxDOT also wants us to remember the state’s "Move Over/Slow Down" law that requires drivers to move over a lane or reduce their speed to 20 mph below the posted speed limit when approaching TxDOT, emergency, law enforcement, tow truck or utility vehicles stopped with flashing lights activated on the roadside.

Finally, if you don't follow the "Work Zone Laws" be ready to empty your bank account. Traffic fines double in work zones when workers are present and can cost up to $2,000 or more.

Plus, failure to Move Over and Slow Down can also result in fines up to $2,000 and a possible license suspension and/or jail time. Even though "National Work Zone Awareness Week" is over, my friend Jill Christie a TxDOT employee says "TxDOT workers all want to go home to their families at the end of the day."

Photo by: TxDOT / Jill Christie
Photo by: TxDOT / Jill Christie

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