Georgia Power, in collaboration with the Georgia Department of Transportation (GDOT), is encouraging awareness of driving alert through work zones to help keep workers safe as part of National Work Zone Awareness Week, which runs from April 26 – 30.
National Work Zone Awareness Week, which began in 1999, is designed to inform motorists about the dangers of driving through work zones and of the perils faced by construction and maintenance workers. In July 2016, utility vehicles were included in Georgia’s “Move Over Law,” which requires drivers to move over one lane when crews are working on the roadside. The addition of utility workers to the law helps ensure safety for linemen who may be working on the roadside at night or following severe weather to repair damaged equipment or restore power for customers. If drivers are unable to move over, they should slow down below the speed limit and be prepared to stop.
This year’s theme is “Drive Safe. Work Safe. Save Lives,” a call to all motorists to help keep workers safe by slowing down, avoiding distractions, following all posted signs, and watching out for workers when traveling through a work zone. According to GDOT’s most recent statistics, there were 17,297 total crashes in Georgia work zones in 2020, resulting in 5,123 injuries and 24 fatalities.
Work Zone Safety Tips You Can Use:
- Obey the Rules of Work Zone: (1) Pay attention (2) Slow down (3) Watch for workers
- Expect the Unexpected. Things may change quickly. Normal speed limits may be reduced, traffic lanes may be closed, narrowed, or shifted, and people may be working on or near the road.
- Don’t Speed. Obey the posted speed limit, even when workers are not present.
- Don’t Tailgate. Keep a safe distance between you and the car ahead of you and the construction workers and their equipment.
- Obey Road Crew Flaggers and Pay Attention to Signs. Failure to obey speed limit signs or a flagger’s traffic control directions can result in hefty fines and/or imprisonment.
- Stay Alert and Minimize Distractions. Give your full attention to the roadway and avoid changing radio stations or using cell phones and other electronic devices while approaching and driving in a work zone.
- Georgia is a Hands-Free state. Since July 2018, it is illegal to hold your phone while driving in the state of Georgia.
Georgia Power is an active member of the Georgia OSHA Struck-By Alliance which provides member organizations with information, guidance, and access to training resources to help protect the health and safety of workers.