Wethersfield, Conn (WTNH) - A campaign is underway this week to keep workers and drivers safe in roadway work zones.
If you've driven on the highways lately you've probably seen those electronic signs saying it's "National Work Zone Safety Awareness Week." We're just coming into the time of year when trucks and work zone safety signs will move from the DOT, to back out on the roads.
To kick off the season, the state is launching a public safety campaign with an important twist.
The campaign is familiar: Slow down for those who make their living in work zones. The twist? It's not just about slowing down anymore. Now, they're telling drivers to put the phone down and pay attention too.
"Take the extra few minutes. It could be your son, your brother. It could be your sister. It could be one of your relatives out there who could potentially be harmed," said DMV Commissioner Melody Currey.
The State of Connecticut has been at this effort, proclaiming a "Work Zone Safety Awareness Week" for 12 years now, but there's still more work to be done. The most recent records show six people were killed in Work Zone crashes in Connecticut in 2009.
State Police were at the DOT Tuesday to remind drivers they're not backing down. Over the course of this campaign, they've written 46,000 tickets, and they're ready to write even more.
But it's not all about State roads and highways. Local police say they're on board as well.
"We don't have the ability on most local roads to move over. At best, you might have two lanes going in one direction. There's nowhere to move, except to drive directly adjacent to the work zone, so we try to remind motorists driving through the zone to do it slowly, and pay attention to where you're going, because there's nowhere to move out of the roadway," Redding Police Chief Douglas Fuchs said.
Those who spoke Tuesday say slowing down is not just important for the workers. It's actually in your best interest. There are more drivers and passengers killed in work zone crashes than those working in them.
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