(March 30, 2021)– To help stress a message of safety for highway workers as well as for drivers and passengers, Maryland Department of Transportation State Highway Administration (MDOT SHA) is asking all Marylanders to promote work zone safety by staying alert and following safe driving practices when traveling through work zone areas. Governor Larry Hogan has joined this important message, declaring April as Work Zone Safety Awareness Month and April 28 as Go Orange/Roadway Worker Appreciation Day.
“At MDOT, the safety of everyone on the road – our work crews, drivers, passengers, bicyclists, and pedestrians – is our top priority and something we focus on every day,” MDOT Secretary Greg Slater said. “During Work Zone Safety Awareness Month, we’re reminding motorists to do the same—focus, slow down, and stay alert. And when you travel through a work zone, please, drive like you or your loved ones were working there too.”
From 2014 through 2019, there were 9,656 work zone-related crashes in Maryland injuring 4,155 people and claiming the lives of 53 people – in many cases, motorists were the ones killed in the crashes. The leading causes of work zone crashes are distractions, driving too fast, and following other vehicles too closely.
MDOT SHA is entering a robust spring and summer road construction and maintenance season, and these awareness efforts are intended to protect workers and those who travel through the hundreds of active work zones in Maryland.
“We want everyone to arrive at their travel destination safely, including our employees and contractors after each work shift,” MDOT SHA Administrator Tim Smith said. “To keep everyone safe, we urge motorists to pay attention when driving and stay alert for orange cones, barrels, and signs that indicate they are driving toward a work zone. Slow down and move over so crews can safely do their jobs and get home to their loved ones.”
To further promote work zone safety and pay tribute to highway workers, Marylanders are asked to wear orange on April 28 for Go Orange/Roadway Worker Appreciation Day. Those participating can take a photo and share it on their social media platforms using the hashtag #GoOrangeMD. Businesses are urged to light up their buildings with orange. MDOT SHA will post daily social media messages in April on work zone safety and will display banners outside their facilities. Outdoor and digital advertisements will run through the summer.
Before hitting the road, motorists can learn where major roadway projects are in Maryland by visiting MDOT SHA’s Project Portal. For more information on Work Zone Safety Awareness, visit www.roads.maryland.gov and click on the work zone safety banner. Maryland drivers can also call 511 or visit www.md511.org for live traffic updates, including construction delays and lane closures.