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ARDOT Reminds Motorists to be Cautious in Work Zones

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (News release) - The Arkansas Department of Transportation (ARDOT) is joining states from across the nation this month to remind motorists to slow down and be cautious in construction work zones.  

It is part of a national campaign titled “2018 Work Zone Safety: Everybody’s Responsibility” aimed at reducing accidents in work zones.  Members of the ARDOT staff joined other local officials for a news conference at a work zone located on U.S. Highway 67near Cabot on Tuesday.

“Over 65,000 vehicles pass through this work zone every day,” stated Tony Sullivan, ARDOT Assistant Chief Engineer for Operations.  “The construction activity you see around us makes for a potentially dangerous combination of motorists and construction crews.”

Nearly 800 people were killed and tens of thousands injured in highway work zones in 2016 across the United States.  Most of those fatalities were drivers and passengers.  Approximately 15-20% of work zone crashes involve non-motorists – such as construction workers. 

“There are numerous factors that contributed to those work zone crashes,” Sullivan added.  “Speeding, inattentive driving and lack of seatbelt use are high on the list.”

The upcoming spring and summer months will see an increase in the number of work zones across Arkansas and the rest of the country due to the favorable weather for construction.  Work zones will include everything from Interstate highway widening projects to pothole patching and mowing.  

Sullivan offered some helpful tips to help drivers get through work zones without an incident. 

“Slow down and obey work zone speed limits.  Put plenty of space between you and the vehicle ahead of you.  Be attentive and obey road crew flaggers.  Plan ahead and leave a few minutes early to avoid delays.”

Chief Jay Thompson of the Arkansas Highway Police urged motorists to be aware of a police presence in work zones.

“A major role of the Arkansas Highway Police is to monitor our construction work zones across the State,” he stated.  “Motorists should not be surprised to see an Arkansas Highway Patrol officer sitting on the shoulder just prior to a construction zone to remind motorists to slow down and pay attention.  If we all focus while we drive, it increases the likelihood we stay alive.”

An ARDOT website at www.IDriveArkansas.com includes a map showing all construction zone locations in Arkansas.

The website is a good place for motorists to start when planning a trip on Arkansas’ highways.


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