As a Virginia Department of Transportation employee, my workplace is the highway you drive on. I have worked as a VDOT maintenance staff member and equipment operator for 10 years, and I take pride in making the road smoother, picking up debris, plowing snow, and helping the public get where they need to go.
But working in the road carries risk. My co-workers and I spend our days inches from traffic, separated from cars traveling 35, 45, 55 mph only by a series of cones or barrels. We rely on drivers to keep us safe so we can return and work again another day.
National Work Zone Awareness Week is April 11-15 this year, and its timing comes just as road work is picking up for construction and maintenance.
When you see orange road signs warning you that a highway work zone is approaching, please give driving your full attention. We need you to be able to see and hear us, and process any instructions we might be delivering. Equipment can move sudde...