State transportation officials this week are highlighting the importance of using caution in work zones as part of a national effort to reduce injuries and fatalities among road workers.
Their three-part message to drivers: "Pay Attention – Slow Down – Watch for Workers." Drivers are also warned to expect the unexpected; don’t speed or tailgate; obey flaggers; and pay attention to signs.
Just last month, Highway Emergency Response Operator (HERO) Moses King died from injuries he suffered in August while he was setting out road flares on Atlanta’s Downtown Connector.
Georgia Department of Transportation Commissioner Russell McMurry paid tribute to King and the 57 other GDOT employees who have died in work zone incidents since 1973 at a press conference Wednesday at HERO headquarters.
“And it’s not just HEROs who are in jeopardy. It’s also our maintenance and road construction crews out in front with only a cone or a barrel as a buffer,” said GDOT Commissioner Russell McMurry in a statement, “and the first responders – emergency medical personnel, law enforcement and firefighters. As well as tow truck drivers.”
Most victims in work zone crashes are actually drivers or their passengers (82 percent, according to 2014 data provided by Georgia DOT).
In 2015, there were 27 work zone fatalities in Georgia – all members of the public.
To learn more, visit www.dot.ga.gov/DS/SafetyOperation/Workzone. Or, view this 30-second work zone safety video.