North Carolina’s electric cooperatives are observing National Work Zone Awareness Week, which runs from April 17-21, by sharing ways that members can practice safe driving habits near road-side work zones. Whether in the field, at home or on the road, the safety of members and line crews is a top priority for electric cooperatives. Co-ops are bringing awareness to work zone safety by sharing ways to practice safe driving habits on the road which include:
- If you see first responders, utility crews, or any other emergency personnel on the side of the road, please slow down and move over when possible.
- When moving over is not possible, slow down and proceed with caution.
- Pay close attention to reduced speed limits.
- Be alert and obey all signs.
“The purpose of a work zone is to alert drivers to slow down and be prepared to merge or even stop,” said Farris Leonard, director of job training and safety for North Carolina’s Electric Cooperatives. “This creates a safer work environment while near moving traffic so road workers can focus on the job at hand while also providing a level of protection for all drivers.”
Sharing safety information about traveling through work zones not only keeps drivers and utility crews safe, but also upholds the electric co-ops’ commitment to the cooperative principle of “education, training, and information.” By practicing proper work zone awareness, the public can keep the roads safe while important work to maintain power reliability for co-op members is being completed.
Work zone safety remains a critical area of focus for all 26 of North Carolina’s electric cooperatives. According to the North Carolina Department of Transportation’s Traffic Management Unit, there were 6,200 crashes in work zones in 2021. Those incidents resulted in 2,500 injuries and 29 fatalities. Between 2018 and 2022, 171 people have been killed in work zones in NC. In addition to National Work Zone Awareness Week, the state of North Carolina observes its own Work Zone Awareness Week April 3-7.