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.”

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  • sam

    sometimes its who you know joe! I well planted kiss is better than a college degree anyday..

  • Joe

    So I guess I should have added that it is incredible that the wage ranges from 9.73 to 32.00 per hour. What? How can any entity budget under those variables?!

  • Joe

    Well wait a is the WVU DOH getting around prevailing wage?!

  • sam

    The flagmen that work for j f allen or wv paving might get the big wages. That's the problem they get the big money but wvdoh pays the flagmen $9.73
    So joe you try and live off of that and raise a family!

    • DWL

      Guess they should have studied harder during their formative years. Minimum wage for an adult is the reward for failing to study in school and seeing how a flagman's job is such a highly skilled position, $9.73 is way over paid for the educational level required.

  • sam

    wvdoh has statewide flagger training. does no good when supervisors do not check on their employees making sure signs have been removed. The state needs to pass laws concerning the work areas. As I know of there is no requirement to slow down for posted work zones unless there is a sign posted. Our workers, even though not paid enough are still important, have families, and do care. We need a drastic change at the top of the WVDOH ranks///.

    • Joe

      Not paid enough?!!!!! The 2013 Dept of Labor Prevailing Wage web site lists flagmen as being required to receive $32 per hour!!!!

  • lifetimehunter

    Wv needs statewide flagger training. Next fines when signs are improper or outside of safe distances. Wv is so bad with signs left out when no workers are present people are numb to them.

    • jojo

      Totally agree!! Many flaggers do not know the difference between slow and stop. Many stand so far off of the road you don't see them till you are right on them...then the sign is turned where you can't see either stop or slow ..