HOUSTON (KIAH) — The Texas Department of Transportation’s “Be Safe. Drive Smart.” campaign is spending National Work Zone Awareness Week giving advice to drivers on passing construction sites or work zones safely. 

There are many construction zones in Houston. For that reason, TxDOT is asking drivers to make safety a priority while driving through work sites.

To show support for work zone safety, Houstonians are encouraged to participate in “National Go Orange Day”.

According to TxDOT, In 2021, there was more than 26,000 work zone crashes on Texas roadways. Out of those, 244 people were killed. Traffic deaths in Texas work zones increased by 33% in the last year.

The purpose of this week is to inform the people about the dangers and consequences of traveling through work zones. If you’re caught speeding or not following the law, you could pay for it. 

Traffic fines double in work zones when workers are present. It could cost you up to $2,000. 

Failure to move over or slow down to a speed of 20 miles below the posted limit when approaching construction or emergency vehicle can also result in a $2,000 fine. It’s the law.

“Put yourself in our boots. We work next to the roads where a lot of drivers are going way too fast. A lot of times, they’re just not paying attention. We want to go home to our families at the end of the day just like you,” said Bill Kirksey, construction zone worker.

Remember, not following the law or being distracted could cost you and put workers at risk.

Tips for construction zone safety:

1.     Slow down: follow the posted speed limit.

2.     Pay attention and stay off your phone.

3.     Watch out for road crews. Always follow flaggers’ instructions and be mindful of construction area road signs.  

4.     Don’t tailgate: give yourself room to stop in a hurry.

5.     Plan ahead: give yourself extra time. Road construction can slow things down. 

For more information on Work Zone Awareness Week visit the TxDOT website.