Illinois State Police, the Illinois Department of Transportation (IDOT), Illinois State Police, the Associated General Contractors of Illinois and the American Traffic Safety Services Association (ATSSA) all joined together to unveil the new National Work Zone Memorial Wall at the Illinois State Fair. This wall aims to recognize the workers that we’ve lost in work zones accidents in Illinois. The wall will also be used to raise awareness about the importance of safe driving habits for all motorists through our construction zones. The wall will act as a remembrance for the women, men and children who’ve lost their lives in accidents that occurred in construction zones throughout the country.
As we recently reported on our Chicago Personal Injury Attorneys Blog, distracted driving is one of the top causes for car accident-related construction accidents. Motorists are asked to place all of their attention on the road when passing through construction zones not only to prevent a car accident, but to help save the life of a roadside construction worker. As a reminder, Illinois state law prohibits the use of hand-held cell phones in construction zones.
“The National Work Zone Safety Memorial symbolizes the collective efforts and commitment of all states for the ongoing challenge to prevent work zone crashes,” said Acting Transportation Secretary Ann Schneider.
The wall is filled with the names of those who we’ve lost in work zone accidents. The visualization of those that we’ve lost is being used to increase motorist’s awareness of the dangers of accidents in road construction zones.
ISP Operations Col. Rob Haley would like to remind everyone that one work zone death is way too many and the IDOT will be continuing their effort to bring the number of these fatalities down to zero.
The DOT notes that its current efforts are in fact helping to reduce the risks of a fatal work zone accident. According to Illinois state traffic accident data, 2009 and 2010 illustrated two years in a row in which the state witnessed less than 1,000 traffic fatalities. These two years have been recorded as a record low dating back to 1921.
IDOT says that this accomplishment is a large part a result of its latest media campaigns, a number of infrastructure improvements, signing enhancements, safety engineering and automated work zone speed limit enforcement, just to name a few.
The IDOT campaign “See Orange. Slow Down. Save Lives ” is one of the media campaigns that have launched to help raise awareness of safe driving habits in these construction areas. This campaign includes visual and audio PSAs used to send the transportation department’s safe-driving message to motorists across the state.
Here are some safe driving tips to help you get through a construction zone without any problems:
-Slow down when you’re approaching a construction zone.
-Follow all posted speed limits.
-Don’t follow the vehicle in front of you too closely.
-Don’t pass another vehicle by using the shoulder of the road.
-Leave yourself an out to escape a dangerous situation. Never block yourself in.
-Keep it calm. Understand that traffic will travel a little slower through these areas. Consider this before heading out to your destination.
-Put away all distractions, including cell phones, text messaging devices, loud music, etc.
-Keep your eyes on the road and expect the unexpected.