CHARLESTON, W.Va. — Another road construction season is drawing to a close in the Mountain State and despite efforts by the state Department of Highways and law enforcement, the season came with some work zone casualties.
“We unfortunately and sadly had one or two fatalities as a result of some accidents in work zones,” said state DOH spokesman Brent Walker.
This summer just like in the past ones, the DOH has stressed the importance of motorists slowing down and paying attention when they see the orange signs. It’s an effort they take very seriously.
“It’s such a huge program for us. Every year we spend a lot of money educating folks and advocating and getting the word out about people paying attention in work zones and slowing down,” said Walker.
The effort this summer included the participation of the West Virginia State Police whose presence was seen through flashing lights in the beginning of work zones across the state. Those who chose to speed through work zones risked the chance of getting pulled over and receiving a hefty fine.
Now with the winter months drawing near, motorists will begin to see fewer and fewer orange signs out as the construction season comes to a close. But that doesn’t mean the work zone safety efforts will come to a close as well. Walker said the same rules apply in the snow removal and ice control season.
“We will be doing the same thing because it’s just equally important to be as safe as ever as we kind of approach the colder months and drive as safe as you would in work zones around our workers as they get rid of snow and ice,” he said.
And the law enforcement presence will continue to be there as well. Bly adds just because the construction season technically ends with the colder temps doesn’t mean work isn’t being done.
“We’re always making repairs and we are always having some work on West Virginia roadways,” he said. “So yes, we can’t stress enough how important it is that when you see barrels and when you see yellow lights that tell you to merge over or to reduce your speed, to do it.”