FATALITIES DECLINE IN STATE’S HIGHWAY CONSTRUCTION AREAS

FATALITIES DECLINE IN STATE’S HIGHWAY CONSTRUCTION AREAS

Lufkin District 2018 statistics released

 

May 2, 2019

LUFKIN In spite of a decrease in work zone crashes in Texas last year,  161 people still lost their lives and another 684 were seriously injured, with the vast majority of those killed — 84 percent — being motorists and/or their passengers. The Texas Department of Transportation highlights its Be Safe. Drive Smart campaign along with Work Zone Awareness to remind motorists to stay alert and exercise caution when driving through work zones.

In 2018, a total of 25,162 work zone traffic crashes were reported, an average of nearly 70 crashes per day resulting in deaths that fell by 20 percent between 2017 and 2018 in construction zones in Texas. In the nine-county Lufkin District, there were 125 traffic crashes in work zones that resulted in two fatalities and 10 serious injuries.

 

Cheryl P. Flood, Lufkin district engineer. released local numbers in a Thursday event highlighting work zone safety at the Lufkin District complex. On hand to explain and talk about the law, crashes, fatalities, near misses and how a work zone is set up was Sgt. David Hendry, Texas Highway Patrol-Education Trooper, Lufkin DPS; Wayne Ashby, Lufkin District Maintenance Administrator; and Jacky Robinson, Area Wide Protection Traffic Control Contracts Manager.

In a Work Zone Awareness press conference held in Austin in May, TxDOT Executive Director James Bass explained the importance of staying alert in and near a work zone.

“Work zones present a different environment for drivers to navigate with  concrete barriers, slow-moving heavy equipment and vehicles that may make sudden stops,” Bass said. “That’s why we’re urging drivers to pay special attention in work zones on Texas roadways—for their protection and the safety of highway work crews."

 

At any given time, Texas has as many as 3,000 active work zones across the 80,000 miles of road TxDOT maintains. Since the leading causes of work zone crashes in Texas are speeding and driver inattention, TxDOT asks motorists to avoid distractions and put their phones away, obey road crew flaggers, slow down and follow posted work zone speed limits. Traffic fines double in work zones when workers are present, and fines can cost up to $2,000.

 

To safeguard roadside crews and first responders, the state’s Move Over/Slow Down law also requires drivers to move over a lane or reduce their speed to 20 mph below the posted limit when they see flashing blue or amber lights on a TxDOT vehicle, emergency vehicle, tow truck, or law enforcement stopped on the roadside or shoulder. Not doing so can result in a fine of up to $2,000.

For more information, contact Rhonda.Oaks@txdot.gov or (936) 633-4395.

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