DOTD, LSP join forces for Work Zone Awareness Week
Thursday, March 26, 2015 at 3:07:52 PM
To bring awareness to driving safely through work zones, the Louisiana Department of Transportation and Development and Louisiana State Police are joining forces to tell motorists to “Expect the Unexpected” during the state’s observance of Work Zone Awareness week, March 23-27.

“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.

At DOTD, there are continuous efforts to improve and enhance roadways through safety initiatives such as the installation of center line rumble strips, roundabouts and cable median barriers. In addition, the Road Safety Assessment Program helps to determine any existing safety-related needs along a specific state route and to identify opportunities for low-cost safety enhancements to address those needs.

Through the Destination Zero Deaths initiative, Louisiana has seen a dramatic reduction in traffic fatalities with the unified efforts of the Federal Highway Administration, Louisiana Highway Safety Commission, Louisiana State Police, and DOTD working in cooperation with local public works departments and local law enforcement. Over the past several years, motor-vehicle fatalities in the state have dropped from 993 in 2007 to 703 in 2013, and serious injuries have been reduced from 15,830 to 13,446.
Still, in 2013 there were 579 work zone fatalities nationwide - eight in Louisiana. There were an additional 532 injuries recorded in Louisiana work zones that year.

“Every day, roadway workers and emergency responders expose themselves to the dangers of working amidst ongoing traffic. In order to prioritize safety for workers and motorists, we urge drivers to use caution when traveling through work zones,” said Matt Harris, LSP Public Information Officer.

When driving through work zones, motorists are urged to:
• Stay alert and give full attention to the roadway
• Pay close attention to signs and work zone flaggers
• Obey posted speed limits
• Avoid tailgating
• Do not drink and drive
• Wear your seatbelt
• Put down your cell phone
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, dotdpi@la.gov. 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 www.dotd.la.gov, email dotdcs@la.gov, 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 www.511la.org. Out of-state travelers can call 1-888-ROAD-511 (1-888-762-3511).