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TDOT Reminds Motorists: We’re All in This Together

Monday, April 15, 2013 | 04:24am

NASHVILLE, Tenn. – Tennessee Gov. Bill Haslam today proclaimed April 15-19, 2013 Work Zone Awareness Week in Tennessee, joining states across the nation in highlighting the complexities of work zones and reminding motorists to drive safely in construction areas. TDOT will spread that message across the state this week in an effort to improve safety in Tennessee’s interstate and highway construction and maintenance work zones. 

“As we head into the busy construction season, motorists will encounter more maintenance workers, utility personnel, and construction workers on Tennessee’s roadways,” said TDOT Commissioner John Schroer. “I want to remind all drivers to stay alert and focused and exercise caution and patience when driving through work zones across the state. Doing so will help ensure everyone stays safe.”

The spring and summer months provide perfect weather for highway work, and motorists will encounter work zones across Tennessee in downtowns, along interstates and in rural areas.  Work zones in urban areas can be especially complex due to limited space for workers and equipment as well as high traffic volumes. Awareness and advance planning is important for everyone affected by work zones – DOTs, road workers, drivers, bicyclists, motorcyclists, pedestrians, emergency responders, law enforcement, and utility workers.

Last year in Tennessee, of the 12 people who died in work zone crashes, nine were either drivers or vehicle passengers, and three were construction workers. TDOT has lost 108 employees in the line of duty since 1948.

“The reality is – work zones can sometimes be more dangerous for motorists than the workers,” added TDOT Commissioner John Schroer. “Typically, the number of motorists killed in work zone crashes far surpasses the number of workers killed,” said Commissioner Schroer. “Motorists must pay close attention while traveling through work zones, and be prepared for changing conditions and sudden stops.”   

Each of TDOT’s regions will draw attention to Work Zone Awareness Week in Memphis, Nashville, Chattanooga, and Knoxville by lighting several buildings across the state in orange. Work zone safety messages will also be displayed on TDOT’s overhead Dynamic Message Signs on interstates in Memphis, Nashville, Chattanooga and Knoxville.  TDOT Commissioner John Schroer also shares an important message about work zone safety; the video can be seen here on TDOT’s YouTube page:

TDOT’s SmartWay app can be an invaluable tool for motorists, giving them advance notice of construction zones, scheduled work hours and information about available alternate routes. The app also provides up-to-the-minute customized traffic information and enables the user to access TDOT’s SmartWay cameras, and messages displayed on overhead Dynamic Message Signs.  The TDOT SmartWay App is free and available for download in the Apple App Store and Play Store for Android.

As always, drivers are reminded to use all motorist information tools wisely and Know Before You Go! by checking travel conditions before leaving for their destination.  Drivers should never tweet, text or talk on a cell phone while behind the wheel.


For more information:

B.J. Doughty

TDOT Director of Community Relations and Communications

Office 615.741.7736

Mobile 615.714.8556

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