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Highway worksites remain danger zones, AGC finds

Highway worksites remain danger zones, AGC finds

ARLINGTON, VA. — Fifty-five per cent of U.S. highway contractors report motor vehicles had crashed into their construction work zones during the past year, according to the results of a new highway work zone study conducted by the Associated General Contractors of America and consultant HCSS.

According to the survey results, motorists are in even greater danger from highway work zone crashes than construction workers. Twenty-eight per cent of contractors participating in the survey experienced crashes that resulted in injury to construction workers. But more than twice as many firms, 59 per cent, reported experiencing a crash in which drivers or passengers were injured, stated a release.

Work zone crashes also are twice as likely to result in fatalities to drivers or passengers as construction workers. Eight per cent of contractors in the survey report construction workers were killed in work zone crashes, while 16 per cent of survey respondents report drivers or passengers were killed in those crashes.

“Elected and appointed officials are not doing enough to protect workers and motorists in highway work zones,” said Ken Simonson, the association’s chief economist and author of the annual survey. “Our transportation networks may be invaluable, but the lives of workers and motorists are priceless.”

Simonson noted 97 per cent of contractors report highway work zones are either as dangerous, or more dangerous, than they were a year ago. He added more than half of contractors want automatic ticketing for speeding in work zones. Seventy-nine per cent want a greater police presence and 65 per cent want stricter enforcement.

He noted Oklahoma just became the first state to require completing a work zone safety course as a precondition for getting a driver’s licence.

The contractors’ association is calling on every state to prioritize education and enforcement to make work zones safer.

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