County Highway Commissioner on Work Zone Safety

Today is the final day of National Work Zone Awareness Week
– a week to spread awareness about safe driving as construction and maintenance
season ramps up in the spring and summer months. Data from the Wisconsin Department
of Transportation shows over 3,100 crashes were recorded in work zones in Wisconsin
last year – causing nine deaths and over 1,200 injuries. Five-year data shows Wisconsin
averages nine work zone crashes a day during the construction season. Fond du
Lac County Highway Commissioner Tom Janke says drivers need to pay extra
attention in work zones. “Especially when you get into these areas where there’s
construction zones – things happen. There’s lane changes, there are deviations,
you have equipment and people working very, very close to live traffic. You
just need to really pay attention and give them extra room, and slow down,”
Janke said.

The theme of this year’s Work Zone Awareness Week is “Drive
Like You Work Here”, reminding drivers to obey posted speed limits and limit
distractions while in and around work zones. Janke says its important to keep
the safety of both the workers and yourself in mind. “Realize there are people
working close to these roads and highways and live traffic – and they’re just
like us, just like the person driving, they want to come home at night,” Janke
said. “Obviously, you don’t want to put yourself in any situation, either,
because you could easily hurt yourself by getting into an incident or an
accident in these work zones.”