The Work Zone Safety Program, first created in 1989, aims to increase work zone safety awareness and education in the state of North Carolina in hopes of reducing work zone injuries and fatalities.
A work zone is described as a designated area on a street or highway where construction is taking place.
North Carolina Work Zone Statistics
There are more than 200 major work zones in the state of N.C.
There were 2,125 work zone accidents in N.C. in 2009.
Eleven fatalities occurred in N.C. work zones during 2009.
Speeding and distracted driving account for more than 50 percent of all work zone crashes.
The NCDOT.gov Web site has more information on statistics, including an interactive map that shows county to county details.
Buddy Barrel and Connie Cone
photo courtsey of NCDOT.
Meet the Work Zone Safety Program mascots – Buddy Barrel and Connie Cone. They serve to represent the most visible elements of a work zone – a construction barrel and traffic cone.
Over the years they have become the most recognized and well-loved symbols of NCDOT’s ongoing commitment to work zone safety. They have also been featured in several school functions parades and more to help raise awareness of work zones.
Work Zone Driving Tips
Alertness – The roadway should have your full attention at all times.
Pay Attention – Signs and work zone flaggers save lives, pay attention so you see them.
Be Seen – Use your headlights so other motorists and works can see you.
Keep Your Distance – Maintain proper following distance by Adhering to the 3-Second Rule, which should be increased in wet weather.
Speed Limits – Are posted for a reason, particularly around work zones – for your safety as well as the workers.
Don’t Change Lanes – In a work zone. And keep up with the flow of traffic.
Limit Distractions – As mentioned above, speeding and distractions account for a majority of accidents, don’t use your cell phone or mess with the radio while driving in a work zone.
Patience – Don’t be in a rush or you might not get there. Remember, work zone crew members are working to improve the roadway and your driving experience.
Work Zone Penalties
North Carolina drivers that speed in a designated work zone can face $250 penalty plus cost courts.
If a driver is the cause of a fatal or serious injury in a work zone, they are responsible for the person’s injuries and any traffic violations issued as a result of his involvement in the crash. In the event a fatality occurs, the driver could be charged with vehicular manslaughter.
On behalf of NCDOT – Buddy Barrel and Connie Cone remind you to “Drive Smart. Do Your Part.”