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Missouri Department of Transportation

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MoDOT News Release 

For more information, contact Jorma Duran at (573) 751-9257 or Community Relations, (573) 751-2840.

April 12, 2010 12:00 AM
“What Have I Done?”
New Work Zone Campaign Aims to Reduce Work Zone Fatalities and Injuries

JEFFERSON CITY - A second of inattention can lead to a traffic crash, and when you're in a work zone that can cost more than a fine - it could cost lives. That's why the Missouri Department of Transportation is reminding drivers not to barrel through work zones with a new television spot, called "What Have I Done?"  Road construction season kicks off this year with Work Zone Awareness Week April 19-23.

The video features a motorist after he's been in a crash in a work zone - time has seemed to slow down for him. Moments before, he was driving along and calling his family to say he's encountered some road work, but not to worry, because he'll "fly right through it." After getting out of his vehicle in a daze he walks over to where he's hit something in the work zone and discovers it's a person. It ends with a reminder to all, "Don't Barrel Through Work Zones."  

"Every year we try to educate motorists about the importance of paying attention and obeying the signs in work zones," said Pete Rahn, MoDOT director. "For the last couple of years though we've had increases in both work zone fatalities and injuries, and it's time motorists realize how serious driving errors in work zones can be for everyone involved."

In 2009, 13 people were killed in work zones, an increase from 2008 when 12 people were killed. There were 670 people injured in 2009 work zones, compared to 599 in 2008. This is an increase of 11.9 percent. Between 2005 and 2009, 64 people were killed and 4,260 people were injured in Missouri work zones. Since 2000, 15 MoDOT employees have been killed in the line of duty.

"We need drivers to pay attention to highway construction and drive with caution through it to prevent senseless deaths and injuries," Rahn said.

The top five contributing circumstances for work zone crashes in 2009 were inattention, following too closely, improper lane usage/change, driving too fast for conditions and failure to yield - in this order. Of the 878 traffic fatalities in 2009, 693 were vehicle occupant fatalities and 67 percent of them were not wearing a seat belt.

"We're also reminding the public to rate work zones they've driven through because that first-hand information will help us make adjustments and increase safety for motorists and our work crews," Rahn said.  To fill out a Work Zone Customer Survey and help improve MoDOT work zones, visit www.modot.org/workzones/comments.htm.  

Besides the new TV spot, MoDOT will remind motorists of the need to drive safely in work zones around the state with radio and internet banner ads, as well as safety advertisements on fuel pump tops at various gas stations and messages on the department's changeable message boards.

More than 250 bridges are scheduled for construction this year under MoDOT's Safe & Sound Bridge Improvement Program, a statewide effort to repair or replace more than 800 of Missouri's worst bridges by the end of 2013. Statewide, work continues on a number of economic stimulus projects, as well as the Better Roads, Brighter Future program that is improving 5,600 miles of roadway by the end of 2011.

For more information about construction projects statewide, look for work zone locations on MoDOT's interactive traveler information map at http://www.modot.org/ or call 888-ASK-MODOT (275-6636). 

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