State Transportation Department Promoting New Work Zone Safety Message

(KCCR) — While the South Dakota Department of Transportation will be focused on snow removal this week with a major spring snowstorm on the way, the D-O-T is normally dealing with the kick-off to road construction season. This week is National Work Zone Awareness Week and D-O-T Pierre Area Engineer Dean VanDeWeile says it time to be watching out for road construction areas…

“Start expecting to see those construction zones.  Be cautious, you know, be on alert.  Those contractors we…we always preach safety and have safety meetings.  We really ask the public to be diligent in just watching out for any of those workers and moving equipment and that type of thing and be patient.  Allow yourself a little more time in your commute.”
VanDeWeile says 2019 is bringing with it a new road construction safety campaign nationwide…

“To them, you know, this is… this is their work zone and so we kind of ask folks Drive Like You Work Here if that makes any sense, it’s their new work zone awareness that were…that were airing across the nation and that’s the slogan that’s out there  right now is Drive Like You Work Here and this is where these people work here, and it’s kind of a change for folks to get use again to coming out of winter season and I hate to say it for some, but to come into the construction season, so, but it’s a great opportunity to get our roads back into good shape.”
VanDeWeile is hoping the “Drive Like You Work There” campaign will raise awareness with everyone about how to safely traverse a work zone…

“If we can just get it into people’s heads and families discuss it at  at the supper table tonight so their kids are aware and…and you know we’re going see a lot of changes here in the near future.  Motorcycles, scooters…what were used to seeing out there is about to change dramatically and it’s getting the drivers aware of that and hopefully having a real safe 2019.”
Since 2007, South Dakota has seen four worker fatalities, two in 2011 and two in 2012 according to the National Work Zone Safety Information Clearinghouse. According to a report last year from the Center for Construction Research and Training a total of 532 road construction workers have been killed in work zone accidents from 2011 to 2016 nationwide.