DOTD holds press conference for Work Zone Awareness Week in Baton Rouge
Tuesday, March 24, 2015 at 10:28:47 AM
BATON ROUGE, La. – Secretary Sherri H. LeBas, P.E., represented the Louisiana Department of Transportation and Development today at a press conference to discuss the importance of driving safely through work zones. The press conference was held in conjunction with National Work Zone Awareness Week, which has been designated as March 23-27 in Louisiana.

“In recent months, three DOTD employees have been injured by vehicles while on the job. Though fortunately none of the injuries proved fatal, these incidents are a reminder of the dangers that road construction workers face on our state’s highways and bridges,” said DOTD Secretary Sherri H. LeBas.

The press conference was held on the front lawn of DOTD Headquarters at 9 a.m., where a 579-cone memorial was displayed to represent the lives lost nationwide in work zones in 2013. From this total, eight deaths occurred in Louisiana. Additionally, work zone statistics show that since 1989, 322 people have died from motor-vehicle crashes statewide and 532 injuries occurred in 2013. The data gathered is the most recent year for which figures were available from the federal Fatality Analysis Reporting System (FARS).

Speakers at the ceremony included members of the Destination Zero Deaths initiative Charles “Wes” Bolinger, Division Administrator, Federal Highway Administration, Louisiana Division; Lt. J.B. Slaton, Louisiana State Police; and Ken Trull, Deputy Director, Louisiana Highway Safety Commission.

"When it comes to keeping highway workers and drivers safe, we’re all in this together,” stated Bolinger. “Road and highway workers put themselves in harm’s way every day to help the rest of us get where we’re headed safely. So when you’re traveling near or in a work zone, slow down, stay alert and aware and turn off the cellphone.”

When asked about work zone awareness, Lt. Col. John LeBlanc, Executive Director, Louisiana Highway Safety Commission, represented by Ken Trull at the press conference, said “Safety in work zones won't happen by itself. We are all in this together. Everyone is responsible for work zone safety, from engineers and planners to drivers and pedestrians.”

“On a daily basis, troopers across the state work hand in hand with highway work zone personnel and DOTD representatives to ensure safe work environments as we move forward improving community and transportation infrastructures,” said Colonel Mike Edmonson, Louisiana State Police Superintendent, who was represented by Lt. J.B. Slaton at the press conference. “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.”

In conjunction with Work Zone Awareness Week, DOTD has launched its statewide “Vested Interest in Safety” Facebook campaign to display photos of companies, employees, community members and local leaders wearing orange safety vests throughout the state. The public is encouraged to participate by posting their “vested” photos on DOTD’s Facebook page or by submitting them via email “vested” photos to DOTD’s Public Affairs Office, Photos will be proudly displayed on the department’s Facebook page.

For more information about Work Zone Awareness or the department in general, 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).