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Workers Speak Out About Being Hit in Oregon Work Zones

Governor Brown, ODOT, and highway construction contractors call attention to the dangers when travelers moving through work zones speed or don’t pay attention

Travelers can help protect themselves and their loved ones...and construction workers, too.Travelers can help protect themselves and their loved ones…and construction workers, too.At 10:45 am on Thursday, May 7, Governor Kate Brown will kick off Work Zone Safety Awareness month in Oregon in a North Portland work zone. Highway construction workers who have been hit in the work zone will talk about their experiences. And afterwards the Oregon State Police will offer reporters ride-alongs as troopers monitor work zones. Our goal is to provide travelers actions they can take to protect themselves, their loved ones, and construction workers, when traveling through work zones.

Many work zones crashes are avoidable tragedies

ODOT crash statistics show that the main causes of crashes in work zones are inattention, speeding and driving too fast for conditions. Did you know…

  • Almost half of all contractors nationwide have had crashes in their work zones.
  • Four out of five work zone fatalities are drivers or passengers.
  • On average, over the past 20 years…
    • More than nine people have died in work zone crashes each year in Oregon.
    • 25 fatal or serious injury work zone crashes occurred in Oregon each year (in other words, on average, one fatal or serious injury work zone crash happens every two weeks in Oregon).
    • More than one work zone crash happened each day in Oregon. (In fact, on average, one work zone crash happens every 19 hours in Oregon!)
    • More than two people died in work zone crashes each day in the U.S. (In fact, one work zone death happens every 11 hours in the U.S.)

How travelers can protect themselves and their loved ones—and construction workers, too

We urge travelers to take a couple of actions to protect themselves, their passengers, and construction workers:

  • Slow down and expect delays as you approach a work zone: It may be your life you save.
  • Inattention is the biggest cause of work zone crashes. Don’t let it be you!
  • We’re doing more to protect workers and you: Help us! Respect the zone: Please slow down and pay attention as you approach and pass through a work zone.

Thursday, May 7 press conference: Hurt workers speak up

To draw attention to these avoidable tragedies, the Governor, the Oregon-Columbia Chapter of the Associated General Contractors, the Oregon Trucking Associations, AAA Oregon/Idaho, the Oregon State Police, the Oregon Department of Transportation, and several area law enforcement agencies will gather in a North Portland work zone Thursday morning to remind travelers to slow down and pay attention when they’re in or near a work zone.

Press conference location: The corner of N. Denver Ave. and N. Schmeer Rd. The project is titled OR 99W: N. Victory Boulevard to N. Argyle Street Improvement Project. Project details are online.

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