Highway contractors work daily to ensure work zones are safe for both their employees and the traveling public. Unfortunately, even with all the efforts in safety planning, training and precautions, all it takes for things to turn deadly is something totally out of their control -- an uncontrolled vehicle.
Construction workers on roads and bridges experience these vehicles daily, uncontrolled either by speeding or distracted drivers. The workers know that, in a blink of an eye, a vehicle can crash into the work zone causing danger. Much is done in educating the industry about how to handle the danger, but reaching the public and educating them on the dangers is the goal of this letter.
While common sense may indicate that it is the worker who is at greatest risk of being killed in a work zone, the statistics don't support that conclusion. Four out of every five work-zone fatalities are motorists who crash in the work zone for a variety of reasons from distraction to excessive speed to not following signs, workers or law enforcement.
The contractors who work inside the work zone want to remind you, the motorist, of two things. First, the people working in work zones are your friends and neighbors, have families and want to go home at the end of the day.
Second, we don't want to see you hurt in a work zone, either. If you ignore the work-zone warnings for whatever reason, you're doing more than risking our lives, you're risking your own.
We're all in this together and safety in our work zones is our top commitment. Will you join us in keeping our region's work zones safe?
JASON M. KOSS
Director of Industry Relations
Constructors Association of Western Pennsylvania
The writer's organization is a trade association of heavy and highway contractors.