In the News

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National Work Zone Awareness Week is April 23-27
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For Immediate Release:  Wednesday, April 18, 2012
Contact: Kristi Sandal, Public Information Officer, 605.773.3265 


Work Zones: National Work Zone Awareness Week is April 23-27 


PIERRE, S.D. – “Don’t Barrel through Work Zones. Drive Smart to Arrive Alive.” 


National Work Zone Awareness Week is April 23-27, and motorists are reminded to drive safely not only for the sake of South Dakota highway workers but also for the drivers themselves and their passengers. 


A press conference to stress work-zone safety will be held at the Pierre Region Office of the state Department of Transportation, 104 S. Garfield in Pierre, on Tuesday, April 24, 2012, at 10 a.m. CDT. Speakers will include Darin Bergquist, secretary of Transportation; Trevor Jones, secretary of Public Safety; Col. Craig Price, superintendent of the South Dakota Highway Patrol; and Nathan Reede of Upper Plains Contracting, 2012 Associated General Contractors’ president. 


“The South Dakota Department of Transportation wants to get the message out to the public that nearly 85 percent of those killed in work zones are drivers and their passengers,” Bergquist said. “The goal of National Work Zone Awareness Week 2012 is to remind drivers that safer driving means safer work zones for everyone.”  


Nationally, 576 workers and motorists were killed in highway work zones in 2010. Many of those accidents could have been avoided by practicing proper safety and awareness measures. 


“People don’t realize how dangerous road construction areas can be,” Bergquist added. “In many cases, orange cones and barrels are the only buffers separating highway workers from traffic. We want motorists who are tempted to speed through work zones to think about the workers, themselves and their passengers so everyone will arrive home safely.” 


The South Dakota Department of Transportation encourages motorists to practice the following safety tips when traveling through work zones: 


  • Don’t Speed – Reduce speed before entering a work zone. If other motorists are speeding, don’t follow the bad example. Remember, fines are double in work zones.
  • Stay Alert – Dedicate full attention to the road. Remember, somebody’s loved one is working in that area.
  • Pay Attention – Avoid distracting activities like adjusting the radio and talking or texting on a cell phone.
  • Expect the Unexpected – Watch out not only for road workers in the area, but also for construction equipment.
  • Be Prepared to Stop – Signs and work-zone flaggers save lives.
  • Don’t Tailgate Maintain adequate and safe distances from workers and other vehicles.
  • Be Patient Remember, road crews are working to improve your future ride.



To obtain the most recent road construction information in South Dakota, please visit http://www.safetravelusa.com/sd or dial 511


Links to the official Work Zone Awareness poster and video can be found at sddot.com



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