TDOT participates in National Work Zone Awareness Week - WRCBtv.com | Chattanooga News, Weather & Sports

TDOT participates in National Work Zone Awareness Week

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CHATTANOOGA, TN (WRCB) -

You may have noticed clever signs and displays popping up on Tennessee roadways. It’s part of National Work Zone Awareness Week.

The campaign is aimed at reminding drivers to be cautious when going through work zones.

Workers said the biggest problems they face are speeding drivers and distracted driving.

To a driver behind the wheel, speeding through the orange construction cones and flashing lights may not seem like a big deal, but to the men and women on the other side of them, it could mean life or death.

"You've got just maybe a thin barrel between you and traffic," TDOT Supervisor Keith Pruett urged.

Fortunately, there were no construction zone deaths last year in Tennessee.

In 2016, three workers were killed on the job in Tennessee by drivers passing through.

In Ooltewah off of exit 9, there is a display of orange barrels in the shape of a ribbon. Each one of the barrels represents each of the 112 TDOT workers killed while working since 1948.

"It could be preventable if people would just pay attention to their surroundings and what's going on," Pruett said.

Pruett has worked for TDOT for more than 20 years. He spends nearly every work day in a construction zone. Every day when he goes to his outdoor office, he, like all other workers, takes extra safety precautions.

"We take it very serious,” Pruett urged. “We have our vests and hard hats that we wear, always have to make sure you know where you're at in the work zone."

On the roadways, this week, signs and displays urging drivers to help are everywhere. They remind drivers “it’s everyone’s responsibility” and to “work with us.”

"There's people out there that have family they want to get home to, their children and their spouses and all. Just keep that in mind," Pruett added.

TDOT crews are asking drivers to slow down through construction zones, pay attention and ditch any potential distractions, like your cellphone.

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