Today marks the beginning of National Work Zone Safety Awareness Week, an annual event dedicated to improving public awareness of the dangers posed to motorists and construction workers by highway work zones. As part of the opening event, a "Work Zone Memorial," comprised of 1,100 orange cones commemorates those who perish each year in highway work zones will be on display at Freedom Plaza in Washington, D.C. on Tuesday, April 8, 2003. The Associated General Contractors of America (AGC) is a leading proponent of making safety in highway work zones a national priority.
AGC CEO Stephen E. Sandherr who will address attendees at the Work Zone Memorial said, "Making work zones safer is the responsibility of us all. As our highway infrastructure ages and our population expands, road construction will play a vital role in to meeting these growing needs. As motorists represent 80% of work zone fatalities, this year's event is focused on motorist safety; however it's important to remember that the remaining 20% are construction workers who should be remembered and protected."
"Work Zone safety is a priority for AGC in the TEA-21 Reauthorization Legislation. AGC is calling upon Congress to include incentives to allow for more use of law enforcement in work zones, as well as greater use of barriers to separate motorists and workers," added Sandherr.
While safe work zone safety is the responsibility of the construction industry, the public also has a duty to drive alertly and within the work zone's speed limit. This year's Work Zone Safety Awareness Week seeks to improve communication with motorists about highway projects, an issue on which AGC is preparing a list of recommendations to submit to state highway agencies.
The Associated General Contractors of America (AGC) is the largest and oldest national construction trade association in the United States. AGC represents more than 35,000 firms, including 7,500 of America's leading general contractors, and over 12,000 specialty-contracting firms. Over 14,000 service providers and suppliers are associated with AGC through a nationwide network of chapters. Visit the AGC Web site at www.agc.org. AGC members are "Building Your Quality of Life.