Indiana Brings Strong Safety Message to the Highways with 2016 NWZAW
National Work Zone Awareness Week (NWZAW) was held April 11th through 15th and Indiana was front and center with its message “Don’t Be That Driver!” A press conference was held in Indianapolis through the combined efforts of the local ATSSA chapter, Indiana DOT, OSHA, State Police and Work Zone Awareness Corporation (WZAC)—a group of prime contractors dedicated to work zone safety. North Street was closed off at the American Legion Mall so a mock work zone crash could be on display. Indianapolis area news media covered the event as speakers from INDOT, OSHA, ATSSA and WZAC took center stage encouraging motorists to focus on distraction free driving. RoadSafe’s Indiana branches and the local ATSSA chapter set up the mock crash scene which included an arresting officer and distracted driver in handcuffs.
There were no highway workers killed in Indiana work zones last year, however there were 17 motorist fatalities and 708 people injured according to INDOT officials. Nationwide, there were 669 work zone traffic-related fatalities and 116 worker fatalities in 2014 (the most recent available data). This year’s national theme is “Don’t Be That Driver!” and reinforces the message that driving in and around work zones requires motorists to constantly be alert and prepared for changes – changes that a distracted driver may not notice in time to prevent a potentially fatal crash. According to Rick Smith, RoadSafe’s Lafayette Branch Estimator and active ATSSA Chapter member, “This year’s media exposure was extremely effective in reaching audiences statewide. We are very confident that we brought about awareness to the motoring public to use extra caution in work zones and avoid distracted driving.”