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For Immediate Release:

NATIONAL PARTNERS LAUNCH WORK ZONE AWARENESS WEEK
AT ACTIVE CONSTRUCTION ZONE IN MARYLAND

Work Zone Safety Observances In-Force Throughout the Country

April 4, 2017

MONTGOMERY COUNTY, MD – National partners from the U.S. Department of Transportation (USDOT) and U.S. Department of Labor today joined Maryland Department of Transportation (MDOT) Secretary Pete K. Rahn and State Highway Administrator Gregory Slater at an active construction site in Silver Spring to launch Work Zone Awareness Week, an observance recognized by states across the country.

“Work zone awareness is crucial to ensuring the safety of both roadway workers and motorists,” said Governor Larry Hogan, who in concert with the national observation has declared April 3 to 7 as Work Zone Awareness Week and April 5 as Go Orange – Roadway Worker Appreciation Day in Maryland.  “Let this serve as a reminder to all Marylanders about the dangers of distracted driving, and to keep their eyes on the road   this week and every week.”

“For Maryland’s roadway workers, the construction zone is their office, and everyone deserves to be safe in their workplace,” said Transportation Secretary Rahn.  “Remember to park the phone and slow down in work zones.”

Federal and state partners stood next to the American Traffic Safety Services Association’s mobile National Work Zone Awareness Memorial with work zone safety advocate Laurie Moser, whose husband, MDOT State Highway Administration (SHA) employee Rick Moser was killed in a work zone-related crash.  Rick Moser’s name is featured on the memorial, which lists the names of workers, motorists and law enforcement officers lost in work zones crashes. 

Roadway workers put their lives on the line every day servicing the thousands of highway construction projects in progress each year.  With aging infrastructure and increased traffic, unfortunately fatal crashes are on the rise in work zones.  On average, more than 700 people nationwide lose their lives annually in work zone crashes.  Six people lost their lives in Maryland work zone crashes in 2016.  Nationally, 130 roadway workers were killed in the line of duty in 2015, the second highest amount in a decade.

“The people who work on roadways are mothers, fathers, sons, daughters, sisters and brothers, and they deserve to get home to their families,” said SHA Administrator Slater.  “We’re featuring our own employees in outreach materials, to show the real people behind the barrels.  Their safety is in your hands.”

Maryland is a proud partner in National Work Zone Awareness Week, observed and organized by the USDOT’s Federal Highway Administration, American Traffic Safety Services Association (ATSSA), American Association of State Highway Transportation Officials (AASHTO) together with Virginia and Washington, D.C. 

The national theme for 2017 is “Work Zone Safety Is In Your Hands – Drive Toward Zero Crashes.”  This campaign combines work zone safety with the “Toward Zero Fatalities” national effort.  Every other year, the hosting of the national launch is competitively kicked off in a new state.  Today, Secretary Rahn announced that Illinois will host the 2018 National Work Zone Awareness launch.  Last year, it was hosted in Ohio. 

Across the country, various partners are going “orange” during National Work Zone Awareness Week as a gesture of support for roadway workers.  The Government House in Annapolis was lit in orange today, and M&T Bank Stadium in Baltimore was lit in orange on April 2 and 3.

“In memory of all those who have lost their lives or suffered serious injury as a result of work zone crashes, I implore drivers to join in this vital safety conversation about work zone safety,” said Maryland work zone safety advocate Moser.  “Wear orange in support of work zone safety, share safe driving tips with family members and friends, look for social media content to share and pass it along.  By choosing to participate in this national conversation, you will promote safer work zones for all.”

The Maryland “Work Zone Safety Is In Your Hands” campaign reminds drivers that work zone safety is everyone’s business.  SHA utilizes social media, billboards, television and radio public service announcements and grassroots outreach.  SHA will feature “Go Orange” efforts, such as employees dressed in orange, on its Facebook page at Facebook.com/MarylandStateHighwayAdministration.

A complete listing of current roadway projects is included in E-Road Ready, the online brochure.  For more information on Work Zone Safety Awareness, visit www.roads.maryland.gov and click on the work zone safety banner.  Maryland drivers also can know before they go by calling 511 or visiting www.md511.org for live traffic updates, including construction delays and lane closures.

Contact:
MDOT SHA - Office of Communications:  410-545-0303
MDOT TSO - Erin Henson:  410-865-1025

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