Opinions expressed in letters to the editor do not represent the views of The Gazette-Virginian or staff members.
April 11-15 is National Work Zone Awareness Week.
As stewards of taxpayers’ money, we are responsible for safely delivering quality transportation improvements on time and on budget. You will see VDOT crews and contractors in work areas. Our work directly serves Commonwealth residents and communities 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year. We are honored to keep Virginia Moving.
We have prepared for you to travel safely in our workspace, but despite our best efforts, roadwork areas can be dangerous for our employees and those who pass through them. Sobering figures confirm this. In 2021:
w Accidents in a work area increased by 41%
w Fatalities in a work area have increased by 155%
w Speeding accidents in a work zone increased by 35%
w Distracted driving accidents in a work zone increased by 27%
And we’ve seen the deadly trend across the country. In 2010, the United States recorded 586 deaths in work areas. By 2019, the number had risen to 842, an increase of 43%. In too many cases, driver inattention or reckless behavior is to blame. In other words, this loss of life can be avoided.
Every time you drive into one of our work areas, you are part of our team. As a team member, when you come across a work area, remember:
w Work zones are a sign of slowing down.
w Pay attention to the road in front of you.
w Ignore your phone and other distractions.
w Pay attention to the rest of the team, our people.
We, the undersigned, come to you with an extremely important request. Please prioritize safety in roadwork areas. Let’s all return safe and sound to our families. All too often, someone doesn’t.
Lynn P. Perkins, President,
Pearson Construction, Inc.
Judson H. Dalton, Vice President, WC English, Inc.
Kurt Mason, General Manager,
Harry King Jr., Vice President, Colony Construction
Charles D. Craddock, Vice President of Asphalt, Boxley Materials Co.
Derrick Kerns, President, Makco
Chris Winstead, PE, Lynchburg District Engineer, VDOT
South Side Division, Adams
James Shields, Chief Security Officer, Haymes Brothers Inc.