Toll in Highway Work Zones: 199 Needless Deaths


The Texas Department of Transportation is imploring drivers to use caution when driving through work zones.

In 2017, work zone fatalities in Texas increased 9 percent over the previous year, resulting in 199 deaths and 813 serious injuries. With 4 percent of those fatalities being road crew workers, the remaining 96 percent was comprised of motorists, pedestrians and bicyclists.

“We always urge drivers to exercise great caution and obey traffic laws, especially in work zones,” said TxDOT Executive Director James Bass. “Doing so helps ensure everyone – motorists and work crews – gets home safely to their loved ones.”

As the state’s population continues to boom, the price of progress can mean more than 2,500 active TxDOT work zones at any given time.

In 2017, there were 27,148 work zone crashes in Texas, an increase of 5 percent over 2016. The leading causes of statewide work zone crashes – speeding and driver inattention – are entirely preventable. Fines in work zones double when workers are present and can cost up to $2,000.

As part of its ongoing Work Zone Awareness campaign, TxDOT also reminds drivers of the Move Over/Slow Down law, which requires drivers to move over or slow down when approaching TxDOT crews, law enforcement, emergency vehicles or tow trucks stopped on the roadside or shoulder with flashing blue or amber lights. Failure to do so can result in fines up to $2,000.


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