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April 28, 2021

Go orange for worker safety

OLYMPIA — It's National Work Zone Awareness Week and the Washington State Department of Transportation wants everyone to wear orange today to raise safety awareness and honor road crews.

WSDOT says there are an average of 842 people killed in work zone crashes every year throughout the country. In 2020, Washington had seven fatality crashes in work zones on state roadways.

Since 1950, 60 WSDOT workers have been killed on the job, the vast majority in work zone crashes. State statistics show that 94.4% of those killed in work zone crashes are travelers, not workers.

Work zones have been getting safer for WSDOT workers: 21 staff were killed during the 1950s while only four have been killed in the last 20 years. The last WSDOT crew member killed in a work zone was Bruce Cowing, in 2016.

WSDOT reminds drivers entering work zones to:

Slow down and drive the posted speed limit.

Be kind to the workers improving the roadways.

Pay attention to workers and surrounding traffic.

Stay calm and expect delays.

Those dressing in orange today can post photos of their attire with #Orange4Safety and #NWZAW hashtags.

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