VDOT asks drivers to stay aware in work zones

Published: Apr. 9, 2019 at 7:46 PM EDT
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As the weather warms up, paving projects and other roadwork is starting again, and the Virginia Department of Transportation is reminding drivers to be safe in work zones.

It's national work zone safety awareness week, and VDOT is asking people to "drive like you work here."

In Virginia last year, there were more than 2,500 crashes in work zones. However, that was a decrease from the year before.

VDOT communication specialist Ken Slack says those crashes are often preventable, since they're usually caused by speeding or distracted driving.

"There's no excuse for either of those things," Slack said. "So all you have to do when you approach a work zone, you see those hard to miss orange signs, slow down, put any distractions aside and fully focus on your task at hand."

Slack says they're using more crash cushions at work sites to help with safety. He says they're also using queue management vehicles to help drivers stay aware of stopped traffic, especially on Interstate 81.

"There is a vehicle with flashing orange lights at the end of the line so that folks that are coming up at full interstate speed have some warning that there is slowed or stopped traffic ahead," Slack said.

It's not just VDOT asking drivers to be more aware. Staunton is also asking drivers to keep their eyes on the roads as city workers are paving streets.