OTE - Oregon Travel Experience

Navigating safely through construction zones

Posted on: September 9th, 2014 by Madeline MacGregor in News & Press | No Comments

14273889323_8ea215869f_mAs part of our mission to connect the transport and tourism industries, OTE routinely partners with other related state agencies. We help inform the public and spread the word about safe travel for all motorists, pedestrians, cyclists, and highway crews.
Recent motor vehicle accidents on Oregon highways fall into several categories—with construction zone accidents being the most severe. The Oregon State Patrol (OSP) published the following current facts to be aware of before navigating construction zones along our major Interstates:
  • Work zone crashes are often more severe than other types of crashes.
  • Most work zone crashes are caused by drivers not paying attention.
  • Speeding – or driving too fast for conditions – is the second leading cause of work zone crashes.
  • More than 40% of work zone crashes happen in the transition zone prior to the work area.
  • Drivers and passengers are more likely to be injured or killed than on-site workers.
  • Fines in work zones are double 24/7 whether workers are present or not.
The video below shows the hazards faced by both driver and worker on Oregon’s highways.

The Oregon Department of Transportation (ODOT) operates a Work Zone Safety Program to help protect drivers and road construction workers alike. ODOT advises drivers to be aware of their surroundings and to check on TripCheck.com prior to establishing your travel or vacation route.
On any given day, there are more than 500 active work zones in the state of Oregon, and they operate day and night.  The primary purpose of the work zone safety program is to reduce the fatal and serious injury traffic crashes in all roadway and utility work zones.  This is achieved through a comprehensive program, which includes the four E’s of transportation safety:  engineering, enforcement, education and emergency medical services.

 Work zones often narrow the travel lanes and alter the road surface, creating temporary changes to the roadway.The work zone safety program works with the Traffic Control Plans Unit of ODOT to provide work zone setup resources to contractors, municipalities, utilities and other partners to help ensure the safety of all road users, as well as workers.
Enforcement: The work zone program partners with enforcement agencies around the state to conduct stepped up enforcement and extra patrol presence in work zone areas.
Education: The program includes ongoing public information campaigns to educate Oregon drivers, pedestrians and bicyclists about unique characteristics of work zones and the steep fines associated with work zone infractions.  The program also provides work zone safety education materials for work zone workers.
Emergency medical services: Work zone project managers coordinate with first responder agencies to make sure that road improvement activity does not interfere with timely delivery of
emergency medical services – in the work zone itself or elsewhere.
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