Staying safe in highway work zones
Posted on 11 April 2016
In recognition of National Work Zone Awareness Week, the Montana Department of Transportation, Federal Highway Administration and public safety organizations statewide, are joining forces to urge motorists and workers to take basic steps to prevent crashes and injuries in Montana work zones.
Spring is in full swing and with the changing seasons there are many construction projects beginning across Montana. This year's campaign “Don’t be that driver”, focuses on distracted driving. When motorists take their eyes off the road, even for a second, they can miss road signs or flaggers that warn them of reduced speeds or delays in work zones. Every second counts.
Speeding through orange construction zones in Montana can cost motorists more than just double the price of a traffic ticket. In 2015 there were 130 total work zone related crashes in Montana resulting in 3 fatalities and 50 injuries. The majority of work zone crashes are caused by distracted driving and not obeying posted speed limit signs.
While work zones preserve the safety of workers on Montana roadways, MDT appreciates that they can also cause frustration and delay. Motorists are asked to take the following actions when entering work zones:
- Stay alert and give your full attention to the roadway.
- Read road signs and follow instructions from work zone flaggers.
- Turn on headlights so workers and motorists can see vehicles.
- Do not tailgate.
- Do not speed. Slow down to posted limits.
- Keep up with the traffic flow through work zones.
- Unless instructed to do so, do not change lanes in work zones.
- Avoid distractions such as cell phones, eating, putting on make-up and on-board entertainment systems.
- Expect the unexpected. Keep an eye on workers and their equipment.
- Be patient. Remember work zones are necessary to improve roads and make them safer.
Montana’s Vision Zero is moving the state toward zero deaths and zero injuries on all Montana roads through education, enforcement, engineering and emergency medical response. Because one life lost is one too many, the Montana Department of Transportation and our partners are united in our mission to save lives on Montana roads; but we can't do this alone we need your help. Start, today, make work zone safety a priority.
Get additional work zone safety information and tips for traveling during the construction season at www.mdt.mt.gov/visionzero/people/workzones.shtml .