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Safer Driving. Safer Work Zones. For Everyone

May 05, 2015 11:52AM ● By Cate Reynolds
Work Zone Safety Highlighted at US 301/ MD 304 Interchange Construction Project;
Plan Ahead and Know Before You Go – Road Ready Lists All Major Construction Projects around State

(May 5, 2014) – With hundreds of maintenance and construction projects already underway this spring, Maryland Department of Transportation’s State Highway Administration reminds motorist to slow down and stay alert in work zones. Safety partners across the State are emphasizing that work zone safety is everyone’s business and reminding drivers to be aware when orange is there. More than the color of barrels and cones, orange represents protecting people: drivers, passengers and workers.

Today State Highway District Engineer Greg Holsey joined Paul Bramble, Vice President of David A. Bramble Inc., Maryland State Police Lieutenant Michael R. Tagliaferri, work zone safety advocate Laurie Moser and Flagger Force employee Rhonda Outlaw at an interchange construction zone. With the $60 million US 301/MD 304 reconstruction project as the backdrop, the group issued a plea to Maryland drivers: slow down and stay alert in work zones.

“With several major projects underway on the Shore, we need drivers to be aware when orange is there. Unfortunately last year, we saw an increase in serious work zone-related crashes on the upper Shore,” said District Engineer Greg Holsey. “Everyone - workers and travelers alike - are threatened by speeding and inattentive drivers in construction work zones where there is very little to no margin for error. We need motorists to slow down and stay alert.”

On the Mid and Upper Shore, there were four major work zone-related incidents that claimed the lives of a contractor and two drivers, and severely injured an SHA employee. Work zone crash fatalities have risen over the last two years with ten Maryland work zone fatalities in 2013 and nine in 2014. Over the last five years, there were more than 8,100 work zone related crashes in Maryland, which resulted in the injury of more than 3,600 people.

“A work zone tragedy scarred our company family last year and has invigorated our motivation to get the work zone safety message out,” said Paul Bramble, Vice President of David A. Bramble, Inc. “We do as much as we can to train our employees to be safe, but training the traveling public to the dangers of road work is paramount; and we take every opportunity to implore motorists to slow down, stay alert, and be safe while driving through work zones. We want nothing more than to make sure our employees and our customers, the traveling public, make it home safe to their loved ones every night.”

Nationally, more than 700 people are killed each year in work zone crashes – the majority of them drivers or passengers traveling the roadways.

Hundreds of state employees, contractors and sub-contractors will be in work zones this season, delivering projects ranging from paving, bridge rehabilitation and regular maintenance as well as major roadway projects such as interchange construction and roadway widening. While SHA and its transportation partners work hard to maintain safe traffic mobility in work zones, each driver needs to actively modify his or her driving style to help prevent crashes.

Social media, web banners, radio public service announcements, an e-brochure “Road Ready 2015” and other education efforts will remind Maryland motorists of the work zone safety message. Maryland drivers can also know before they go with 511. Call 511 or visit www.md511.org for live traffic updates, including roadway construction delays and lane closures.

For more information on Work Zone Safety Awareness, visit to SHA’s website at www.roads.maryland.gov and click on the work zone safety banner.