Missouri focuses on work zone safety

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MISSOURI — Monday Kicks off National Work Zone Awareness Week.

What agencies are raising awarenss?

The Missouri Department of Transportation is asking everyone to drive slow and pay attention in a work zone. MODOT says they have seen a jump in deadly crashes — even though they have seen a drop in the number of drivers on the roads.

Dave Taylor, MODOT Area Engineer, said, “We want to remind everybody that everybody out there has a family to go home to.”

The Missouri Department of Transportation is putting an extra emphasis on safe driving during National Work Zone Awareness Week. Since 2000 19 MODOT employees were killed in accidents — 13 of those people were in work zones.

“Personally I knew three of those people. For one a person was working on I-44 they were over on the shoulder point out in the grass area and was working on a large green sign. The person lost control went through the work zone, actually went through the grass to make it over to him. You always want to keep looking around everything else because you could be right next to the road or 20 or 30 feet off the road.”

He says from 2016 to 2020 83 people were killed in work zone crashes and 3,800 people were injured.

“I’ve personally been out there in work zones where somebody’s going too fast. The wind from the vehicle can almost push you over. If you are not watching for it.”

MODOT says there was a fifty to sixty percent drop in people out on the roads in 2020. But they still saw a jump in accidents and deaths because drivers were speeding and not paying attention. The Missouri State Highway Patrol is helping MODOT by cracking down on those speeding through work zones.

Sam Carpenter, Missouri State Highway Patrol PIO, said, “Slow down take your time and pay attention there are construction workers are out there just trying to make the roadways better for us all and at the end of the day very similar to us we just want to get home to our families.”

The Missouri State Highway Patrol says they will be ticketing anyone speeding or passing in a work zone.

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