Gov. Mary Fallin has declared April and May "Work Zone Awareness Months". It’s part of a major push by the Oklahoma Department of Transportation (ODOT) to improve safety on our roads.
Nationwide, 669 people were killed in highway work zone collisions in 2014 and the numbers in Oklahoma are just as sobering.
On any given day in Oklahoma, there are around 2,000 work zones on roads across the state. That's a lot of opportunities to run into someone because you were following too closely, or were distracted, or were just going too fast.
Last year in Oklahoma, there were 1,132 collisions in work zones; 13 people were killed and 521 were injured. Go back the last five years, and the number killed is 84. Five of those were construction workers, the other 79 were people like us just driving through.
So ODOT is rolling out a full-blown PR campaign, including PSA's for TV, urging Oklahomans to make work zones safer for everyone by slowing down, and putting the cell phone down.
The campaign will include profiles of ODOT workers, reminders posted on ODOT message boards, a dedicated Facebook page, and the display of the National Work Zone Memorial Wall at Penn Square Mall next month.