MONTGOMERY – The Alabama Department of Transportation and states across the nation are joining forces to ask drivers to slow down and eliminate distractions in work zones in recognition of National Work Zone Awareness Week on April 11-15.
There were 2,349 work zone crashes in Alabama in 2021, including 17 fatalities and 420 crashes with injury. All three categories show a slight decrease compared to 2020, and it marks the third consecutive year work-zone crashes have declined. Last year featured the fewest work-zone crashes in the state since 2013.
“These recent numbers show that work zone safety is improving,” said Allison Green, ALDOT Drive Safe Alabama coordinator. “But there is more work that needs to be done, because each injury and fatality represents lives that were forever changed. The men and women who work on our roadways deserve a safe working environment. The best way to keep everyone safe is to drive the speed limit and pay attention.”
A common misconception is that most of those killed in work zone crashes are workers. National statistics show that four out of every five of those killed are motorists. Although, when workers are present, workers are the most vulnerable to injury and death. Most work zone crashes are rear-end collisions, resulting from speeding or distractions such as cell phones.
Penalties for Work Zone Violations Have Changed in Alabama
The Alabama legislature strengthened the construction zone law in 2021. Now, any moving traffic violation committed in a construction zone where workers are present will result in a $250 fine or double the regular fine, whichever amount is greater. Previously, only speeding infractions were subject to the fine.
ALDOT offers these tips for driving safely in work zones:
- Drive alert. Don’t drive distracted by texting, eating or other activities that take your hands off the wheel. Look for highway workers, reduced speed limits and narrow driving lanes.
- Slow down. Don’t drive beyond the posted speed limit through the work zone. Keep a safe distance from the vehicle ahead of you.
- Don’t tailgate. Watch for large trucks. Maintain a safe distance on all sides of your vehicle, so that you don’t clip a nearby vehicle and cause that vehicle to also crash into the work zone.
Join the national conversation using #NWZAW or locally using #DriveSafeAL.
Know before you go.Check ALGOTraffic.com to find out if there are work zones along your path and allow extra time to navigate those areas.
ALDOT’s mission is to provide a safe, efficient, environmentally sound transportation network across Alabama. For additional information, visit www.dot.state.al.us