Work zone awareness encourages drivers to pay attention to roads - KTRE.com | Lufkin and Nacogdoches, Texas

Work zone awareness encourages drivers to pay attention to roadside workers

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LUFKIN, TX (KTRE) -

176, that is the number of work zone crashes that happened in the Lufkin district's nine-county area in 2010.

Monday marked the start of a weeklong initiative reminding drivers their choices behind the wheel directly affect those who work to maintain roadways.

"There are people out there working and they need to be safe and cautious when they are driving through work zones," said Kathi White, TxDOT spokesperson.

In the state of Texas 100 people were killed in work zone accidents, 2 were from the Lufkin district.

Officials believe that in more rural areas its easier to lose focus.

"People think they're driving out in the country and they don't see a lot of traffic so they can get complacent," said David Wars, Contract Inspector.

 David Wars works as a contact inspector in Trinity County, he's seen preoccupied drivers firsthand.

"We had our work zone set up, signs on both ends. I was flagging and he just kept coming fast got there close locked up the breaks, he was reading the newspaper," said Wars.

 Technology is doing more harm than good. With many motorists on their cell phones while driving they run the risk of missing a work zone warning completely.

"That's something that we commonly see in the work zones, especially when someone doesn't realize we're there until they're right on top of us," said Wars.

The initiative is not only to ensure the safety of road crews but drivers as well.

"We have some very large pieces of equipment in the work zone and if a small car was to his that piece of equipment it could be very bad for the driver," said Wars.

 Because after a day at work, everybody wants the same thing.

"Their main goal is to go home in the evenings to their families just like everybody else," said White.

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