VDOT's safety reminders for National Work Zone Awareness Week

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HARRRISONBURG, Va. (WHSV) — It is National Work Zone Awareness Week, and this year's theme is "Work Zone Safety: Everybody's Responsibility."

VDOT held its annual vigil on Tuesday night, honoring VDOT workers killed in work zones.

The vigil took place at the VDOT Workers' Memorial at mile marker 103 off I-64.

Drivers should expect to see more and more work zones as the weather warms up.

A lot of contract work begins in the early spring, with jobs such as bridge replacements, paving jobs, and even pot hole patching.

Work zone crash-related deaths weree up by 10 percent in 2017, and VDOT wants to remind you not to drive distracted.

"A lot of folks may not realize that 80% of the workzone fatalities that happen nationally take place affecting the driver or the passenger," said VDOT Communications Specialist Ken Slack.

Work zones may not be in the same place each day.

For example, if a crew is filling pot holes, they may move up and down different streets over the course of one day.

Slack says there's a strict set of guidelines when setting up a work zone.

"You'll see numerous signs and starting this year, also you're going to start seeing some portable rumble strips that will hopefully shake folks out of their complacency and focus their attention on where it's supposed to be, and that's on the roadway," said Slack.

VDOT reminds drivers that distractions can be anything from your cell phone to turning to your backseat to check on children. The department asks drivers to be vigilant not only as they approach work zones, but whenever they are behind the wheel.