Price County Officials Remind Drivers to Stay Safe This Construction Season
Price County Highway Commissioner, Joe Baratka, urges people to drive carefully in highway work zones throughout the 2021 construction season.
“Buckle up, phone down,” said Baratka. “Highway workers work very hard on doing great work for their communities, and just like you they want to make it home at night to their families.”
Over the past five years, there have been more than 13,000 crashes in Wisconsin work zones causing 59 deaths and more than 5,000 injuries.
In Wisconsin, work zones include major highway construction and rehabilitation, maintenance, emergency response, utility work, municipal projects and more – any time in which there are flashing lights, signs, barrels or workers on the road.
National Work Zone Safety Awareness Week takes place April 26 through 30. This year’s theme is Drive Safe. Work Safe. Save Lives.
Wednesday, April 28, is “Go Orange Day,” in which people are asked to wear something orange in support of highway safety. Social media pictures and posts are welcome using the #OrangeForSafety hashtag, but please always refrain from using electronics while driving.
Work Zone Safety Awareness Week is sponsored by federal, state and local transportation officials to draw attention to the safety needs of road workers during construction season. Generally, crashes occur when drivers speed through a work zone, do not pay attention to changing road conditions, run into other vehicles or highway equipment or drive off the road completely.
“We ask everyone on the road to eliminate distractions and be mindful of speed,”
said Baratka. “Even in areas with reduced speed limits, things can happen in an instant. Always expect the unexpected.”
While typical construction work zones are prevalent throughout the county and state, there are also significant numbers of maintenance operations that may be short-term or moving operations. Drivers are reminded of the state’s, Move Over Law, which requires drivers to shift lanes or slow down in order to provide a safety buffer for a squad car, ambulance, fire truck, tow truck, utility vehicle, or highway maintenance vehicle that is stopped on the side of a road with its warning lights flashing.
Before hitting the road, drivers are encouraged to check 511 Wisconsin (511wi.gov and @511WI on Twitter) or use the 511 Wisconsin smartphone app for updates on road conditions and traffic flow.
Wisconsin County Highway Association: Work Zone Distractions; Work Zone Deaths