Caltrans’s “Slow for the Cone Zone” Safety Campaign

The California Department of Transportation (Caltrans) wants motorists to “Slow for the Cone Zone.” They’re encouraging drivers to slow down through work zones to make sure roadway workers and other motorists get home safely to their families. Since roadway workers are literally just a few steps from traffic, it’s absolutely critical to put down the distractions and pay attention as you travel through the “cone zone.” Listed below are just a few of Caltran’s work zone safety tips for motorists.

Caltran’s Work Zone Safety Tips

• Never speed through work zones.
• Always stay alert, and expect the unexpected.
• Exercise caution when driving through a “cone zone.”
• Don’t change lanes unnecessarily.
• Don’t make calls or use your phone when driving through a work zone.
• Turn on your headlights, so workers and other motorists will spot you.
• Exercise additional vigilance when driving through work zones at night.
• Allow more space than necessary between your car and the car in front of you.
• Watch out for and anticipate potential lane shifts.
• Be patient.

Work Zone Safety Facts

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), there were 130 worker fatalities at road construction sites in 2012. In 2008, there were 101 worker fatalities. Over the ten years from 2003 to 2012, Texas led the country for most worker deaths in work zones. California was number six behind, Texas, Florida, Illinois, Pennsylvania and Tennessee. Most transportation incidents that happen in work zones involve a pedestrian worker getting struck by a vehicle.

Distraction Free Cone Zones

The most important thing you can do in a work zone is put down the distractions. Whether it’s reading a text, talking on the phone or changing your radio station, it can wait. Workers are too close to the roadway for you to take your eyes and attention away from the task of driving. It only takes a split second for something bad to happen.
Increasing roadway work zone safety needs to be a priority for all motorists. Workers are focusing on their job, and their “office” just happens to be a few steps from busy traffic. If you’re on the phone or not paying attention to the road, it could be disastrous. Caltrans wants you to pay attention, stay alert and always remember to slow down for the cone zone.

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