Letter: Avoid cell phone use, other distractions in work zones
Every April, we mark National Work Zone Awareness Week to remember highway workers killed in work zone crashes, and to draw attention to the work zone risks for all motorists. As a 21-year employee of the Virginia Department of Transportation, I want to offer what I hope is valuable information for drivers as we approach the spring and summer highway construction season.
I work in the field to help maintain Virginia’s roadways, and to keep them a safe place to travel. Fortunately, I have never been involved in a work zone accident. But I have had many close calls.
I have watched drivers pass a flagger holding a stop sign. When the driver stops, and we ask why he passed the flagger, the leading answer is, “I didn’t see your signs.”
I pay close attention to oncoming traffic to keep myself and my co-workers safe, and to observe the behavior of drivers. I see drivers using laptops and electronic devices, reading, and being distracted by other passengers in the vehicle. But the most common thing I see is the use of cell phones.
VDOT uses warning and traffic control devices to alert the public to an upcoming work zone and for the safety of its workers. Please limit your distractions when you enter a work zone, and reduce your speed. Let’s work together to ensure that you arrive at your destination safely, and that we all make it home to our loved ones at the end of the day.