Letter to the Editor — Work zones are a sign to slow down

Published 10:00 am Wednesday, April 6, 2022

To the Editor:

April 11-15 is National Work Zone Awareness Week.

As stewards of taxpayer dollars we are entrusted to safely deliver quality transportation improvements on time and on budget. You will see VDOT crews and contractors in work zones. Our work directly serves the Commonwealth’s residents and communities 24/7, 365 days a year. We are honored to keep Virginia moving.

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We have prepared for your safe travel through our work space but despite our best efforts, highway work zones can be dangerous for our people and those driving through. Sobering numbers back that up. In 2021:

• Crashes within a work zone increased 41%

• Fatalities within a work zone increased 155%

• Speeding crashes within a work zone increased 35%

• Distracted driving crashes within a work zone increased 27%

And we’ve seen the deadly trend across the country. In 2010, the United States saw 586 fatalities in work zones. By 2019, the number was up to 842, a 43% increase. In far too many cases, driver inattention or reckless behavior is to blame. Simply put, this loss of lives can be prevented.

Each time you drive into one of our work zones, you become part of our team. As a team member, when you come upon a work zone remember:

• Work zones are a sign to slow down.

• Pay attention to the road in front of you.

• Ignore your phone and other distractions.

• Look out for the rest of the team, our people.

We, the undersigned, come to you with an extremely important request. Please put safety first in highway work zones. Let’s all go home to our families safely. Far too often, someone does not.

President of Pearson Construction Inc. Lynn P. Perkins

Vice President of W.C. English Inc. Judson H. Dalton

General Manager of VC Paving Co. Kurt Mason

Vice President of Colony Construction Harry King Jr.

President of S.L. Williamson Co. Inc. Blair K. Williamson

Vice President-Asphalt of Boxley Materials Co. Charles D. Craddock

President of Makco Derrick Kerns

Prince Edward/Lynchburg District Engineer of VDOT Chris Winstead

Vice President Southside Division of Adams Construction Co. Brian Michael Jones

Safety Manager of Haymes Brothers Inc. James Shields