DOTD hosts news conference in recognition of Work Zone Awareness Week
Monday, April 09, 2018 at 2:26:18 PM
Baton Rouge, La. – Today, the Louisiana Department of Transportation and Development held an event to begin national Work Zone Awareness Week at its headquarters in Baton Rouge. Representatives from the Louisiana State Police, Federal Highway Administration, and the Louisiana Highway Safety Commission joined DOTD Secreatary Shawn Wilson in encouraging motorists to use safety precautions while driving through work zones and to bring attention to worker safety.

“This is a very important opportunity for us because all around the country and here in Louisiana we are picking up our construction efforts,” said Wilson. “For the men and women in construction the roadways and highways are their offices. We need to be vigilant and take extra precautions in those work zones.”

In front of DOTD headquarters a safety cone memorial is displayed on the front lawn in recognition of those who lost their lives in work zones. Similar cone memorials are erected in other areas around the state. In 2016, a total of 765 lives were lost nationwide, with 12 recorded in Louisiana.

“Work zones play a keep role in the upgrading and maintaining of our nation’s roadways,” said FHA Administrator Wes Bolinger. “Everyday workers across our state travel to jobs in work zones in order to make our roads, bridges, and highways safer. Every year some of these workers are injured or killed in road construction areas. National work zones fatalities have increased by seven percent in 2016. We must do more to prevent this fatalities and injuries in our highways.”

“Every day, Troopers across the state work alongside highway work zone personnel and DOTD representatives to ensure safe work environments as we move forward improving community and transportation infrastructures,” said Senior Trooper Bryan Lee. “Louisiana State Police will continue to keep work zone safety a priority protecting the lives of both workers and motorists traveling through active construction zones.”

Additionally, tribute was held for former DOTD employee Paul Featherston who was struck by a vehicle that failed to stop in a work zone in Lafayette last year. Mr. Featherston was a part of the DOTD family for 24 years. DOTD District 03 Administrator Bill Oliver was on hand as Secretary Wilson unveiled Mr. Featherston’s name on the DOTD memorial alongside others those who have passed away in work zones while on duty.

“Paul was a quiet gentleman, he always did his job, he never complained, he did anything you asked him to do. He was well known by his co-workers. He was a man of strong faith and has been deeply missed,” said Oliver.

“We should never forget what they sacrificed and what they do,” Wilson said.

This year’s theme is “Work Zone Safety: Everybody’s Responsibility,” and in conjunction with this message, DOTD will be hosting several events, including safety talks at area schools. The agency will also be joining transportation departments across the country for Go Orange Day 2018 on April 11 where employees will wear orange to show their support for work zone safety.

“It is so important to bring the issue of work zone awareness front and center. It is impossible for us who work in a controlled environment to imagine the daily challenges that our highway workers face. Highway safety is not a passive state of being, we must purposely engage our brains to read the highway signs, to be aware of the workers in the work zone, to watch for construction vehicles, and to be attentive when we are in our vehicles. When driving through highway construction zones we are driving through someone’s workplace,” said LHSC Deputy Director Dortha Cummins.

Since 1999, the American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials, the Federal Highway Administration and the American Traffic Safety Services Association have coordinated and sponsored National Work Zone Awareness Week. Those wishing to participate or follow along on social media can do so by using the hashtags #Orange4Safety and #NWZAW.

For more information about Work Zone Awareness, visit For information on DOTD, please visit, email, or call DOTD’s Customer Service Center at (225) 379-1232 or 1-877-4LADOTD (1-877-452-3683). Business hours are 7:30 a.m. - 5 p.m., Monday through Friday.

Motorists can access up-to-date travel information by dialing 511 or by visiting Out of-state travelers can call 1-888-ROAD-511 (1-888-762-3511).