NM Department of Transportation Celebrates Work Zone Awareness Week

DEMING – The New Mexico Department of Transportation (NMDOT) and the Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT) came together Monday to celebrate National Work Zones Awareness Week (NWZAW) April 11-15. This event was organized to remind drivers to be careful when approaching and crossing or passing in front of work zones so that motorists and road workers stay safe.

Drivers are asked to slow down, eliminate distractions, not tailgating, stay calm, be patient and move to avoid roadway workers and their equipment. The theme for National Work Zone Awareness Week this year is “Work Zones Are A Sign Of Slowing Down”.

“In the El Paso District in 2021, there were 907 traffic accidents in work areas, resulting in 3 fatalities and 13 serious injuries. In El Paso, there were 777 traffic accidents in work areas, resulting in 1 fatality and 9 serious injuries. said transport operations manager Eduardo Perales. “Speeding is one of the most common infractions our crews witness. Just a few weeks ago, El Paso police cited five speeding drivers in less than 45 minutes on our Montana project in Far East El Paso. Top speed: 131 miles per hour in a 45 mph construction zone. »

“Last month I attended an NMDOT State Transportation Commission meeting in Roswell where our District 2 engineer presented a video in memory of one of his maintenance workers who was kicked from behind and killed while performing what we would call routine maintenance,” District Engineer Trent Doolittle said. “In the fall of 2021, four of my employees were hit and injured, but fortunately not killed, while repairing the cable barrier, another routine maintenance activity. Every day, our employees risk their lives to ensure that the traveling public arrives at their destination safely.

New Mexico State Police Lt. Charles Madrid and Texas Department of Public Safety Sergeant Marc Couch reminded drivers of the Move Over/Slow Down law, which requires drivers to move on lane or reduce their speed to 20 mph below the posted speed limit. when they see flashing blue or amber lights on a DOT vehicle, emergency vehicle, or tow truck stopped on the side of the road. Failure to do so can result in a fine of up to $2,000.

According to the Federal Highway Administration, between 2018 and 2019, fatal accidents in work zones increased by 11% despite a 2% decrease in accidents outside of work zones. Most of these work zone fatalities were due to rear-end collisions.

Nationally, work area accidents occur on average one every 5.8 minutes. The three main causes of accidents in the work area are following too closely, inattentive and/or distracted driving and excessive speed.

The NMDOT and TxDOT are committed to the safety of the traveling public and appreciate your cooperation in road construction areas. For up-to-date information, visit: New Mexico Department of Transportation at www.nmroads.com or call 511 or 1-800-432-4269. Visit: Texas Department of Transportation Work Zones and Closures, visit http://drivetexas.org or www.txdot.gov.

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