INDOT kicks off Work Zone Awareness Week to promote safety

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INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. (April 11, 2016) - The arrival of spring marks the beginning of construction season in central Indiana. This week, the Indiana Department of Transportation is reminding drivers to slow down in work zones.

Work Zone Awareness Week runs from April 11 through April 15. INDOT spokesperson Nathan Riggs said the annual event is for both work crews and drivers. National statistics show four out five people killed in work zones are drivers and passengers not workers, according to INDOT.

"Things like traveling too fast, distracted driving, those are all causes of these crashes," Riggs said.  "And all of those causes are preventable if people will pay attention and practice safe driving behaviors when traveling in and near these work zones."

In 2014, two construction workers were killed while on the job in central Indiana. Coty Demoss and Ken Duerson died after a crash involving a pickup truck, just minutes before the shift ended.

"Those tragedies are really why we do this campaign,"Riggs said. "Every fatality that occurs in a work zone is preventable and it’s something we try to prevent every year. Our workers, our contractors, INDOT employees, we all take safety as a top priority."

To kick off Work Zone Awareness Week, INDOT planned to host an event on North Street between Pennsylvania and Meridian on Monday. However, weather has delayed that event, which will have to be rescheduled.

INDOT is investing $850 million in almost 800 construction projects around the state this year.