National Work Zone Awareness Week runs April 17-21

Apr 14, 2023 | Press Release

Drivers must use extra caution in work zones

SANTA FE – National Work Zone Awareness Week (NWZAW) is held each spring to raise awareness as roadway work gets into full swing. The goal is to remind everyone to pay attention as they approach and drive through work zones so both motorists and roadway workers remain safe.

“Work zone safety hits especially hard at the NMDOT this year,” said Transportation Secretary Ricky Serna. “On March 30, the department lost one of our dedicated road maintenance workers in a work zone crash. He was assisting State Police with setting up traffic control for a hazmat wreck when he was struck and killed by a driver. That came on the heels of another NMDOT maintenance worker who was killed in a work zone related crash in December 2021. When motorists see orange barrels and cones, that’s an immediate indication to slow down and pay attention. Lives depend on it.”

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Association (NHTSA), in 2020, the most recent year for which statistics are available, there were 857 work zone crash fatalities in the U.S. Most people killed in work zone fatalities are motorists, passengers, and pedestrians. Driver inattention and speed are the biggest factors in work zone crashes. According to the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) an average of 123 roadway workers are killed in work zones each year.

Drivers are urged to take note and adhere to reduced speed limits, eliminate distractions and be watchful for roadway workers and their equipment. This year’s National Work Zone Awareness Week theme is “You Play a Role in Work Zone Safety. Work With Us.”

Go Orange Day takes place Wednesday, April 19. Wear orange to show your support for the men and women who work tirelessly to keep our roads in top condition and to provide support for the families who have lost loved ones in work zone crashes. Take a photo of yourself wearing orange and show your commitment to work zone safety by posting it to Facebook and Twitter with the hashtags #Orange4Safety and #GoOrangeDay.