TDOT celebrates National Work Zone Awareness Week

Department hopes to spread awareness of safety for work zone personnel to state's motorists

CHATTANOOGA (WDEF) — TDOT told us that there were 4,034 crashes in work zones throughout the state’s roads last year.

In the past, numerous TDOT employees have been severely injured or killed due to distracted or negligent driving.

This week, the state department is hoping to reach out to Tennessee drivers to reduce accidents and increase safety awareness.

National Work Zone Awareness Week returns to Tennessee for the fifth year in a row and runs through Friday, April 15.

In a statewide campaign, TDOT Community Relations Officer Rae-Anne Bradley says the department is hoping to increase everyone’s safety on the road in the Volunteer state — especially those who are working on them.

“The Tennessee Department of Transportation is joining states across the country encouraging drivers to work with us to move over and slow down when they’re driving through work zones,” Bradley said.

Bradley says that 112 TDOT employees have been killed in work zones in the past.

However, since the department launched its Work with Us Campaign back in 2017, that’s changed dramatically.

“We have had zero TDOT employees killed in work zones,” Bradley said. “We’re really proud of that, we’re really thankful for that and that’s one of the reasons that we’re trying to continue to raise awareness for this safety campaign.”

For the campaign, TDOT will display work zone safety messages in Chattanooga, Knoxville, Nashville and Memphis. Prominent buildings will glow orange, and Wednesday, April 13, will be “Wear Orange Day” throughout the state.

Bradley says it’s been six years since three TDOT employees were killed on-site in work zones, but the pain still feels fresh.

She and others at the department are hoping the campaign creates enough awareness both locally and statewide so tragedy doesn’t strike again.

“All of our employees deserve to return home to their families in the evening,” Bradley said. “We really, really encourage and urge motorists to slow down and pay attention when they’re driving through those work zones.”

Bradley also encouraged Tennessee drivers to follow T-DOT on social media for more information about the campaign.`

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