The campaign is part of a pilot project and will test several strategies to share work zone safety messages with drivers
VANCOUVER – This week, Clark County Public Works is launching a campaign about driving safely in roadway work zones. The campaign is part of a pilot project and will test several strategies to share work zone safety messages with drivers.
Staff have been reporting an increasing number of incidents, including collisions and near collisions, while they are working in construction zones on county roads. In one recent incident, an employee was struck and dragged by a car as the driver recklessly drove through a road construction site. Echoing staff experiences, national, state and local data shows that traffic collisions, especially in work zones, are on the rise. Between 2020 and 2021, the most recent available data, work zone fatalities increased by 10.8%, according to the Federal Highway Administration.
“Even a single incident like this is one too many. Our road crews are the backbone of our ability to maintain a safe and efficient transportation network. They put their lives on the line every time they step into the road. We have a duty to raise awareness about safe driving in work zones, because every member of our team should be able to go home to their loved ones at the end of the workday,” said Deputy County Engineer Jeremy Provenzola.
Over 95% of serious injuries and fatalities from work zone collisions are drivers or their passengers. Driving safely in work zones not only keeps our staff safe, but also protects drivers and their loved ones.
To encourage safe driving in work zones, Public Works is reminding drivers to:
- Check their route for delays before heading out onto the roads, expect delays, identify an alternative route, and be patient. Construction traffic delay information can be found at clark.wa.gov/public-works/construction-traffic-delays.
- Keep their distance from other vehicles, slow down and pay attention. The top three causes of work zone collisions are following too close, excessive speed and distracted driving. Excessive speed is also the number one factor in all serious injury and fatal collisions in Clark County.
- Follow instructions of all signage and flaggers in and near work zones.
Drivers should also remember that traffic fines double in work zones.
The pilot project includes a billboard on Northeast St. Johns Road between Northeast Minnehaha Street and Northeast 78th Street, social media posts, and internet, radio and newspaper ads. These strategies will be evaluated for their effectiveness in reaching Clark County drivers. The pilot will also test different messages and graphics. Public Works hopes to use the results to create an annual campaign in partnership with other local agencies. More information can be found at clark.wa.gov/public-works/traveling-safely-work-zones.
For information about road and park projects, closures, opportunities for community input, and more, residents can follow Public Works on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram and view information on Nextdoor.
Go to clark.wa.gov/public-works and click on “News” to read this information in another language. Click the button in the top right of the page that says “Change language” next to a globe icon and choose your preferred language.
Information provided by Clark Co. WA Communications.
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