Wednesday, February 14, 2018

Show road workers some love – and not just on Valentine’s Day

By Tina Werner

While you are wooing your sweetheart with chocolate and flowers on Valentine’s Day, our crews will be providing some TLC to our highways to help you make it safely to your loved ones. And while candy and stuffed animals are nice, you can really show your love to our road crews by being safe on the highways. There’s no better gift you can give them than sending them home safely to their families.

More than just hard hats and vests
When we pass by a work zone we see flaggers, construction workers, Incident Response Team members, and they often don’t look like much more than an orange vest and hard hat. But the reality is our road workers are husbands, fathers, brothers, wives, mothers, sisters, children and friends – and they all deserve to go home safe at the end of their shift. And not just when they might have a romantic Valentine’s dinner planned, but every day. Safety is our top priority for everyone, but unfortunately every year we see work zone collisions that injure our workers – sometimes with life-altering injuries. Since 1950, 60 of our employees have been killed on the job. They leave behind families, friends, and co-workers whose lives are never the same.
Left: Crews doing night work are particularly vulnerable so please be sure to slow down and give them space.
Right: A crew takes to the air for maintenance work on the Tacoma Narrows Bridge

Get home to your loved ones safely, too!
It’s not just our workers who are in danger in work zone crashes. In fact, drivers are more likely to be hurt in a work zone collision. On average, 96 percent of people hurt in work zone collisions on our state highways are motorists, their passengers or passing pedestrians. Driver inattention, following too closely, and excessive speed are the primary causes and can be easily avoided. Text your partner an “XOXO” once you have safely parked. Don’t come on too strong, give that vehicle in front of you some personal space. Plan ahead so you don’t have to speed to your candlelight date, and save on those traffic fines that are doubled in work zones. We know that you would rather spend that money on roses or a heart-shaped box of chocolates for the person you love than pay a hefty ticket.
Since 1950, 60 of our workers have been killed on the job. Please help keep them safe.

Show our workers and fellow commuters some love
Every day is a great day to show someone how much you care, and that includes those who work or travel on the highways. And even better, it’s easy to figure out just what to get them:
  • Slow down near work zones.
  • Be kind – work zones and delays are to improve roads and getting frustrated can lead to distractions.
  • Pay attention. Focus on the road and watch for both workers directing you as well as surrounding traffic.
  • Expect delays in work zones. Leave early or take an alternate route if possible
  • Give road workers plenty of space to do their job.
Our road workers will tell you they love nothing more than being able to return home to their Valentine. Help give them that gift by being focused and alert around road crews as you would be around your own sweetheart on Valentine’s Day.