Law Enforcement, MDOT Bring Attention to National Work Zone Awareness Week

You’ll be seeing a lot more road crews in the days and weeks ahead. This is National Work Zone Awareness Week.

“Driving is the most dangerous thing we do in our lives.”

Safety leaders from across the state are kicking off National Work Zone Awareness Week in Traverse City.

“There are people out there just trying to do their job and it’s not fair to not give them due respect to keep them safe out there,” says Lt. Travis House with Michigan State Police.

Rachel Snell lost her husband Dave to this crash in 2018. She says a drunk driver who was also distracted by her cell phone caused the work zone crash on I-75 near Detroit.

“When you see those orange signs, slow down. Turn off your cell phone or put it down. And consciously, very consciously, keep it down,” Snell said.

“We’re out there working 80-90 hours a week during the summer and these guys become our family. I see them more than my own family. They’re so loved. The team is not the same when you lose someone,” says Stephanie Boileau, Work Zone Awareness Week CMTE.

Four workers were killed in construction zones last year. The state also investigated the deaths of one police officer, two tow truck drivers, and even a crossing guard killed in those work safety zones.

“Biggest change we’ve seen is distracted driving. Our workers all the time watch people drive by in a work zone looking down at their phone, doing things instead of paying attention where they’re driving,” said Rick Liptak, MDOT spokesman.

“These men and women have families at home, and they’re waiting for them to come home,” Snell said.

“They need to be patient and make sure everybody goes home alive at the end of the day,” Liptak said.

For more facts, stats and information about work zone safety, visit: http://www.ops.fhwa.dot.gov/wz/outreach/wz_awareness.htm.

Visit MDOT’s Road Projects and traffic information website here: www.michigan.gov/drive