Op-Ed from the office of Senator Carlos Uresti

April 22, 2010
Mark Langford at 210-932-2568

Work zone ahead — ease up on the pedal!

By Sen. Carlos Uresti

Perhaps you were driving through life too fast last week to notice it was National Work Zone Awareness Week.

Don't worry. It's not too late to slow down, stop fiddling with the radio dial, put the cell phone away and watch where you're going. You could save a hefty traffic ticket—perhaps even your life.

For many drivers, a highway construction zone is no reason to ease up on the accelerator, and that's a mistake. These areas demand caution, and caution doesn't come with speed and inattention.

Work zones are dangerous places, for both motorists and highway crews. According to the Texas Department of Transportation:

Still not convinced? Remember that traffic fines double in work zones, so for health and personal financial reasons, these areas need your undivided attention.

Each April, TxDOT joins with the Federal Highway Administration, national transportation associations and other states' transportation departments for National Work Zone Awareness Week – a time to remember victims and raise awareness of safety precautions for workers and motorists in these areas.

It's particularly important in Texas, where TxDOT maintains some 80,000 miles of highway, with more than 1,000 construction or maintenance projects underway at any given time.

National Work Zone Awareness Week was observed April 19-23, but you probably drove right through it with nary a glance. There's no reason to keep it a one-week affair. Let's be safe and observe work zones all year round. For more information about work zone safety go to www.txdot.gov/safety/tips/work_zones.htm.