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As construction season ramps up, officials urge motorists to drive safely in work zones

Posted at 12:31 PM, Apr 30, 2021
and last updated 2021-04-30 13:31:12-04

MILWAUKEE — April 26 through April 30 is Work Zone Safety Awareness week and as construction season is in full swing officials are urging drivers to be cautious in work zones.

Despite traffic reductions in 2020, last year Wisconsin saw a work zone crash every 3.5 hours, according to the Wisconsin Department of Transportation.

Over the past five years, there was 13,000 work zone crashes causing 59 deaths and 5,000 injuries. Kierra Gorde, communications manager with the Wisconsin Department of Transportation, said common factors for these crashes were speed, tailgating, and distracted driving.

“They have a lot going on. They are trying to do their job and deal with the elements. In addition to the job, they also have to pay attention to traffic in the work zones, so it’s very important drivers should pay attention,” said Kierra.

Kierra said there are things drivers can do to help ensure the safety of construction workers, watching for construction and speed reduction signs, reducing speeds, paying attention to the roads, and avoiding distracted driving.

“We are really trying to bring awareness to how easy it is to keep people safe slow down reduce distractions and have patience in work zones,” said Kierra.

Kierra said driving safe in a work zone, could save a life.

“The one thing we all have in common is that we all want to make it home to our families at the end of the day,” said Kierra.