Drivers urged to reduce speeds and avoid distractions to increase safety, save lives
BOSTON -- Today, MassDOT Secretary & CEO Richard A. Davey joined his team from the MassDOT Highway Division, the Massachusetts State Police, elected officials, the Federal Highway Administration, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration and members of the construction industry to implore motorists to slow down and avoid all distractions when entering work zones.
"The investment in and the maintenance of our transportation network requires men and women to work alongside motor vehicles moving at a high rate of speed," said MassDOT Secretary & CEO Richard A. Davey. "We want to end this construction season with a spotless safety record and we need the public's help."
"Many sections of our nation's roads will be busy with workers and drivers in the coming months as construction activity picks up," said FHWA Deputy Administrator Greg Nadeau. "By following the rules of the road in work zones, we can keep people safe during National Work Zone Awareness Week and all year long."
MassDOT and the Massachusetts State Police this year are continuing the Work Zone Speed Enforcement program at work zones across the Commonwealth. Since 2011, there have been more than 10,200 citations issued as part of the enforcement program including 1,016 violations of the Move Over Law, 6,749 speeding violations, 742 seatbelt violations, 92 arrests including 16 arrests for drivers suspected of operating under the influence.
For the first time this construction season, MassDOT will be deploying portable rumble strip arrays to slow traffic down in the approach to a lane drop on the highway and a system of barrels or drums with a sequential light system that will better funnel traffic into a work zone.
"As the busy summertime construction season begins, motorists should be particularly diligent to use caution and be aware of workers in construction zones," said State Representative Paul McMurtry.
"The lives of construction workers, inspectors, police and the motoring public are all at stake in the work zone," said John Pourbaix, Executive Director of Construction Industries of Massachusetts. "CIM enthusiastically welcomes the stepped up traffic enforcement against speeding because traffic cones and barrels alone do not protect against a distracted, impaired or speeding driver. At the end of the day, we want to make sure that every worker goes home safely to their family."
In 2009, the Massachusetts Department of Transportation (MassDOT) was created to unify the state's various transportation agencies. MassDOT now includes the Highway Division, the MBTA and Rail Transit Division, the Aeronautics Division, and the Registry of Motor Vehicles. MassDOT is committed to providing a safe and reliable transportation system to all those who travel in the Commonwealth and works to deliver excellent customer service. MassDOT has been nationally recognized for its innovative approach to transportation, including the Accelerated Bridge Program, the "Where's My Bus and Train?" apps and "Fast 14" work. For more information, visit MassDOT at our website: www.mass.gov/massdot blog: http://blog.mass.gov/transportation/, or follow MassDOT on twitter at https://twitter.com/MassDOT and Facebook at www.facebook.com/massdotinfo.