Be cautious of roadway workers

Those orange cones and signs warning of a lane change or slowdown may seem like an annoyance to you, but to the men and women working on our roadways, they may be the difference between life and death. Even with those warnings, last year there were 14 people killed in work zones in Ohio, 961 injured in work zone crashes, 4,662 work zone vehicle accidents — 153 of those crashes struck Ohio Department of Transportation crews.

“I’ve seen people eating, on their cell phones, putting on makeup and even reading files while driving,” said Highway Technician Roger Damron. “And we see too many accidents and near-misses because people are distracted or speeding.”

This is National Work Zone Awareness Week, and it give us an opportunity to remember how important it is to simply pay attention and obey the law while driving. The people in a work zone are doing work FOR you, much as it might be easier to focus on the inconvenience at the time.

Avoiding distraction and obeying the speed limit should apply at all times, not just when those orange cones are out.

” … it’s not just our crews that we want people to look out for but any contractors and utility folks working in the roadway,” said Ashley Rittenhouse, public information officer with ODOT. “They all just want to get home to their families that night, too.”