Governor Ted Strickland (D-OH) is taking the unusual step of acting as the spokesperson for the Ohio Work Zone Safety Coalition’s annual outreach campaign, aimed at reducing highway worker injuries and deaths by encouraging motorists to slow down while driving through road construction sites.
“Too many accidents happen needlessly in work zones because of a split second of bad judgment. Motorists are following too close, travel too fast or fail to yield,” Gov. Strickland said in a prepared statement. “Traveling through construction work zones is dangerous and requires obeying the posted speed limits and paying attention to the road ahead. It’s imperative that drivers slow down in work zones.”
The coalition includes a variety of members concerned about highway worker safety: the Ohio State Highway Patrol, the Ohio Dept. of Transportation, the Ohio AAA, the Ohio Bureau of Motor Vehicles, the Ohio Contractors Association, the Laborers’ International Union of North America and Ohio LECET.
According to the American Road and Transportation Builder’s Assn. (ARTBA), a highway worker or motorist is killed in a work zone every eight hours, with more than 50,000 Americans injured in work zone accidents each year. According to statistics released by the Ohio Dept. of Transportation, last year there were a total of 5,418 crashes in work zones on Ohio roadways. Of those crashes, 14 were fatal and 1,860 involved injuries.