"We don't want to lose any of our ADOT family members who put their lives on the line to improve your highways," said ADOT Director John Halikowski. "At the same time, national figures show more than 80 percent of people killed in work zones are drivers or their passengers. The prevention of such tragic crashes depends on drivers slowing down and paying attention in these areas."
Federal figures show a total of 576 people were killed in highway work zones around the country in 2010, including 14 people here in Arizona.
Arizona's climate lends itself to highway improvement projects all year along, although high country work zones tend to increase as warmer weather arrives.
"Don't Barrel Through Work Zones," is the safety-based theme of this year's work zone awareness campaign.
"It starts with the driver paying attention to the work zone ahead," said ADOT State Engineer Jennifer Toth. "The signs, cones and reduced speed limits are all there to protect you, as well as our workers."
Tailgating is another driving behavior that increases the odds of highway crashes, especially when work zones require merging. Arizona Department of Public Safety officers are keeping an eye out for aggressive drivers who follow other vehicles too closely.
Drivers also are reminded that state law provides for increased fines for traffic violations within work zones that include signs advising drivers that fines are doubled.