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NCDOT Touts Work Zone Safety in Cumberland County

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NC DOTFAYETTEVILLE – Last year, two people died and 147 crashes occurred in work zones in Cumberland County. Going too fast and not paying attention behind the wheel are among the top causes of work zone crashes. Statewide last year, there were more than 7,200 crashes and 38 deaths in work areas.

This spring, the N.C. Department of Transportation, the N.C. Governor’s Highway Safety Program and the State Highway Patrol are teaming up for a safety campaign that coincides with an increase in highway construction or maintenance projects. Rear-end collisions are the most frequent type in work areas.Gov. Roy Cooper has proclaimed April as Work Zone Safety Awareness Month and April 9-13 as Work Zone Safety Week. State officials remind drivers to obey the posted speed limits and avoid distractions while traveling through work zones.

“Distracted driving is very dangerous on our highways and in our work zones,” said Steve Schroeder, a project inspector for NCDOT in Division 6. “And please slow down. It’s not worth the risk.”

Schroeder and other officials spoke Wednesday morning, April 11, where NCDOT contractor S.T. Wooten Corp. is constructing the $24.3 million Rowan Street bridge project in downtown Fayetteville.The speed limit is often lowered because of potentially hazardous conditions in a construction area. It takes just 49 seconds longer to travel through a 2-mile work zone at 45 mph than at 65 mph hour.NCDOT also wants to keep its workers and contract crews safe. About 10 to 15 percent of fatalities are workers or others, such as pedestrians. Giovanny Morales, environmental, safety and health manager at S.T. Wooten, said the company is not only working hard to improve communities, but keeping the public and its employees in the work area safe.

“We ask that you think about the workers and their families as you travel through work zones,” Morales said. “Please, slow down and pay attention. Our lives and our futures are in your hands.”

The safety campaign complements the NC Vision Zero initiative, which aims to reduce crashes, eliminate roadway deaths and encourage safer driving behavior. More information can be found at this NCDOT website, including driving safety tips