- Published: Wednesday, April 22, 2020 11:50 AM
SPRINGFIELD – Assistant Majority Leader Tony Munoz (D-Chicago) joins the Illinois Department of Transportation, Illinois Tollway, Illinois State Police, industry partners and frontline construction workers for National Work Zone Awareness Week to ensure “Safe Work Zones for All.”
“As we approach construction season, drivers who need to travel during the stay-at-home order should be attentive while passing work zones,” Munoz said. “Slowing down when you see orange will help protect our construction workers.”
Throughout Illinois, improving and maintaining infrastructure continues as an essential public service, with special care being taken to protect workers during the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.
This year’s National Work Zone Awareness Week is “Safe Work Zones for All: Protect workers. Protect road users.” The message highlights the need for special attention for workers and anyone traveling through work zones, including drivers, bicyclists, pedestrians and transit users.”
Each year, more than 5,100 crashes on average occur in Illinois work zones, resulting in almost 1,400 injuries. In 2019, 30 people died in work zones in Illinois, including one worker.
Safety measures have also been put in place to stop the spread of Coronavirus and protect workers, including limiting the number of people on a job site, keeping a 6-foot distance between workers, avoiding sharing tools and performing meetings online or via conference call.
Because of decreased traffic volumes and improving weather, increased speeding and severe crashes are becoming growing concerns.
Guidelines for traveling through work zones:
- Drop it and drive. Phones and electronic devices down at all times – it’s the law.
- Obey the signs. They will help you safely navigate work zones – and sometimes avoid delays.
- Give it a brake. The posted speed limits are there for the safety of workers and you.
- Consider the limitations of heavy equipment, trucks and commercial vehicles. Provide them extra distance to come to a complete stop if they are behind you.
- Expect the unexpected. Lane shifts and closures, slowed and stopped traffic are common.
- Look for the dynamic or “zipper” merge at select projects. To improve traffic flow, digital message signs will advise motorists when and when not to merge and enter the work zone.
For additional facts, printable materials and information on highway projects this year in Illinois, click here or visit idot.illinois.gov. Tollway projects are at www.illinoistollway.com/projects.
For more information on work zone safety visit www.lifeordeathillinois.com.