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‘Drive safe, work safe, save lives’ with National Work Zone Awareness Week

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Observation reminds public to practice caution

YUMA, Ariz. (KYMA, KECY) - The Yuma County Department of Public Works is observing National Work Zone Awareness Week (NWZAW) April 26-30, with a unique approach to this year’s theme of “Drive Safe. Work Safe. Save Lives.”

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The week begins with a Kickoff Event at 11 a.m. on Tuesday, April 27, at an MDOT project on M-59 in Macomb County. The event will be livestreamed and is hosted by Michigan Department of Transportation (MDOT).

Each day of the weeklong observation, children of those whose jobs are directly inside of work zones within the county will be sending messages to the public about their parent’s safety.

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“We wanted a way to spread the message, and make it stick,” explains Joshua Scott, Public Works Director. “We all drive through work zones and most likely don’t even see or consider those working in the zones. Seeing children express their concerns over their parent adds a more human touch to recognizing the need for work zone safety.”

Statistics from the National Work Zone Safety Information Clearinghouse show there were 762 fatal crashes in work zones resulting in 842 deaths in 2019. In addition, 135 roadway workers were killed in work zones. 

The vast majority of people killed in work zones were motorists, passengers and pedestrians. These statistics demonstrate the importance of work zone safety and the need to spread the message that everyone has a role in getting roadway workers home safely.

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“We traditionally have very few problems within our work zones and are pleased we haven’t experienced a major accident or injury,” adds Scott. “But it’s important to send the reminder and maybe educate those few that do not necessarily follow the warnings on the signs.”

Additionally, there were a total of 123,000 work zone crashes in 2018. 31,000 were injury-involved crashes that resulted in 45,000 injuries, which emphasizes the need to observe work zone speeds and eliminate distractions when approaching and driving through work zones.

To learn more about NWZAW, click here.

DSW Living / Yuma County
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Caleb J. Fernández

Upon earning his bachelor’s degree from The Pennsylvania State University in Advertising/Public Relations, Caleb went straight to New York City where he learned the necessities of production assistance, photography and art direction. Please reach out via email at caleb.fernandez@kecytv.com if you’re interested in collaborating.

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