|April 7, 2014 - The Tennessee Department of Transportation is joining states across the nation to remind motorists of the dangers of speeding through work zones. TDOT will spread that message statewide during National Work Zone Awareness Week (April 7-11) in an effort to improve safety in Tennessee's interstate and highway construction and maintenance work zones.
"Speeding through work zones can have deadly consequences for our TDOT and contract workers, as well as motorists," TDOT Commissioner John Schroer said. "Slower speeds provide more reaction time to the often changing conditions in work zones. We want to remind all drivers to exercise caution and patience when driving through construction areas so that everyone can make it home safe."
The spring and summer months provide perfect weather for highway work, and motorists will encounter work zones across Tennessee in downtowns, along interstates and in rural areas. Last year in Tennessee, 14 people died in work zone crashes, with 11 of those being drivers or vehicle passengers.
"Awareness and advance planning is important for everyone affected by work zones - DOTs, road workers, drivers, bicyclists, motorcyclists, pedestrians, emergency responders, law enforcement, and utility workers," Commissioner Schroer added.
Work zone safety messages will be displayed on TDOT's overhead Dynamic Message Signs on interstates in Memphis, Nashville, Chattanooga and Knoxville. Several buildings will be lit in orange in honor of National Work Zone Awareness Week, including TDOT's four regional offices, the State Capitol, and the Metro Davidson County Courthouse in Nashville. There will also be special displays across the state featuring 109 construction barrels to honor the 109 TDOT workers lost in the line of duty since 1948.
The locations are as follows:
I-640 near mile marker 8, Knoxville
I-24/I-75 split, Chattanooga
I-40/I-65 split, Nashville
300 Benchmark Place, Jackson (TDOT Regional Office)
TDOT's SmartWay app can be an invaluable tool for motorists, giving them advance notice of construction zones, scheduled work hours and information about available alternate routes. The app also provides up-to-the-minute customized traffic information and enables the user to access TDOT's SmartWay cameras, and messages displayed on overhead Dynamic Message Signs. The TDOT SmartWay App is free and available for download in the Apple App Store and Play Store for Android.
As always, drivers are reminded to use all motorist information tools wisely and Know Before You Go! by checking travel conditions before leaving for their destination. Drivers should never tweet, text or talk on a cell phone while behind the wheel.