INDOT to host virtual town hall on work zone safety

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INDIANAPOLIS — With construction season underway, the Indiana Department of Transportation wants to hear from you when it comes to your safety in work zones.

INDOT plans to host a virtual town hall Tuesday night. Featuring two presenters and a moderator, the forum will touch on new safety features in INDOT work zones, as well as opportunities for Q & A from those virtually in attendance.

“We push work zone safety all the time, not just for the safety of our workers, but really for the traveling public,” said Communications Director Mallory Duncan. “A lot of these crashes, the traveling public are the ones that are getting injured in their vehicles when they’re flying through work zones or getting into a crash in work zones.”

In April, INDOT reported 3,800 work zone crashes last year, resulting in 26 deaths.

In most cases, Duncan says a lot of these crashes are caused by drivers not paying attention.

“A lot of it is just driver inattention, not realizing they’re coming up on a zone or not realizing it’s coming up so fast,” said Duncan. “Even if the zone is a mile away, there still could be stopped traffic heading into the zone.”

Duncan says the town hall also serves as a reminder for overall awareness. With 1,300 projects planned for this year, INDOT says many drivers need refreshers on work zone navigation.

“It’s a good reminder, especially after COVID and year where a lot of people weren’t on the roads, didn’t interact with work zones or construction,” said Duncan. “It’s a great reminder, and something we thought we’d try to get the awareness out in a different way.”

Tuesday’s forum runs from 6 to 7 p.m., and while it is free to attend, registration is required.

Duncan says a big factor in a safe, overall experience on the roads includes feedback from drivers. Part of the plan is to take comments from the forum, study it and apply to potential methods in the future.

“This is not just to keep our people safe, obviously that’s top priority for us is just to keep every single person safe on the road because once you enter our zone, you are part of work zone safety,” Duncan said.

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