April 20-24 Is National Work Zone Awareness Week
This week marks the 20th anniversary of National Work Zone Awareness Week (NWZAW) and the theme is “Safe Work Zones for All: Protect workers. Protect road users.”
What is NWZAW? An annual spring campaign held at the start of the construction season (summer and fall) to encourage safe driving through highway work zones. The key messaging is for drivers to use extra caution in work zones keeping road users and construction workers safe.
In 1997, the Virginia Department of Transportation (VDOT) first inspired NWZAW by choosing to dedicate a week to spread awareness of work zone safety among local district employees before peak construction seasons in the warmer months. By 1998, the VDOT was presenting the idea of a nationwide campaign to ATSSA officials. By 1999, the American Traffic Safety Services Association (ATSSA) officials were presenting the idea to the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) and the American Association of State Highway Transportation Officials (AASHTO) to launch the first official National Work Zone Awareness Week.
Since then, the goals of NWZAW has been to:
- Raise awareness of the importance of caution when driving through safety zones to reduce traffic-related fatalities and injury
- Establish uniform safety tips to promote nationwide
- Spread the importance of safety education among the private sector, construction industry, and roadway workers
- Train roadway workers and contractors on potential dangers associated with motorists’ behavior in response to traffic delays, distractions, adjustments in traffic patterns, changes in speed limits, etc.
While major events held in honor of NWZAW aren’t being held this year, there’s still plenty we each can do to continue to spread awareness.
How you can observe the week
Do you wonder how you can have an impact during National Work Zone Awareness Week? Here are a few ways you can make a difference:
For construction companies:
Make sure you’re educating yourself and your employees on the latest safety practices and guidelines as outlined by transportation experts such as the ATSSA, FHWA, AASHTO, local DOTs, and the Institute for Transportation Research Education (ITRE). This can help you keep everyone working safe in the zones you oversee.
For construction workers:
Stay on top of required safety regulations, training, and practices set forth by your company and state transportation governing bodies. Being aware of the dangers you face, what signs to pay attention to, and how to protect yourself and your fellow co-workers will help save lives.
For road users traveling through construction zones
As a driver, this week is a great reminder that you should always be extra cautious and alert when traveling through construction zones. Make sure you’re aware of traffic signs and signals as you enter a construction area. Be prepared to slow down, stop, merge, or avoid flaggers directing you through the zone.
Bird Dog promotes construction zone safety all year long
As the #1 traffic control company in the Southeast, Bird Dog Traffic Control has been committed to construction zone safety all year long for almost two decades. We offer a diverse range of traffic control services, support, and equipment to construction companies designed to enhance safety in construction zones. Additionally, we ensure that all our highly skilled workforce is fully certified, trained, and educated according to ATSSA, ITRE, and NCDOT regulations and requirements.
For more information on how to observe and support National Work Zone Awareness Week, visit the NWZAW website. For information regarding how Bird Dog Traffic Control can help you enhance work zone safety, please contact us by requesting a quote.