KDOT Workers and Families Spotlight the Importance of Work Zone Safety in Video Series

By Trish Svoboda

While National Work Zone Awareness Week is observed from April 15 to April 19, the significance of work zone awareness is a year-round reality for the crews and contract workers of the Kansas Department of Transportation. In the state’s highway construction zones, these workers often find themselves in precarious situations, working mere inches away from traffic flow. Flaggers, armed with nothing more than a sign, brave the oncoming vehicles, urging them to decelerate or halt.

One veteran KDOT construction zone worker said he’s had more close calls than he can count, even having people come up and hit the flagging sign he was holding before they put on their brakes.

In a video series produced by KDOT for National Work Zone Awareness Week, workers share their personal experiences of near misses. This four-part series kicks off today, April 16, and will run throughout the week. One of the videos spotlights the families of KDOT workers, who urge drivers to reduce speed and stay vigilant in work zones.

Work zone crashes pose a risk not only to workers but also to motorists, who make up the majority of those injured. In 2023, Kansas work zone crashes resulted in nine fatalities and 498 injuries. The primary cause of these accidents is inattention. Speeding contributes to about a third of fatal work zone crashes nationwide, with rear-end collisions accounting for a fifth. Work zones, marked by signs from start to end and featuring reduced speed limits, cover the entire construction area. By obeying these signs, drivers can contribute to the safety of everyone involved.

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