This is Work Zone Awareness week in Indiana. Governor Holcomb made the proclamation in order to bring awareness to worker safety in highway work zones.
The week marks the ceremonial start to highway construction season.
“You don’t know what’s going on in their mind, where they’re going to be or anything like that,” says Zach Elliot, a highway technician with INDOT. “We’re out there to make sure we’re all safe, and not necessarily in harms way as much as possible. But given the circumstances, you’re kind of always in harms way when you’re out there.”
Work Zone Awareness week isn’t only about keeping workers safe.
According to INDOT there were 28 fatalities in Indiana work zones in 2017, six of those were road workers. The other 22 were motorists.
“We see them drinking their coffee, we see them drinking something, they just are not paying attention. If they aren’t looking at and looking at the road, you can see that right away,” says Todd Fredrick, a contractor for INDOT.
Anyone working in these zones is trained to keep themselves safe, always having someone looking out for them. They also are trained to keep you safe, setting up signs to keep you aware of these zones.
“”I didn’t know it was a construction zone. I didn’t see the signs. I didn’t know the speed limit was reduced.” Those really aren’t valid excuses, because there is plenty of signage, orange barrels, flashing lights that indicate construction zones are present,” says Sgt. Ron Galaviz, Public Information Officer with Indiana State Police.
“Please respect us, we’ll respect you. We can get in and get out as fast as we get the work done, but we can’t do it without your help, as well,” says Todd.
Officials remind drivers to be aware, and be cautious as they drive through construction zones this season. The official slogan this year is, “Drive like you work here.”