Each year as many as 1000 people are killed and 40,000 injured in work construction zone accidents. And because of that TxDOT is trying to raise awareness of work zone safety. Most importantly, they're asking drivers to slow down and pay attention all the time but especially when they're traveling through work zones.
To that end, as many as 60 TxDOT workers gathered together Tuesday with one goal - to get drivers to pay attention and slow down in work zones.
"That's our biggest fear... Is that somebody not going to be paying attention and they're going to be on their cell phone or they're going to be texting or they're going to be shaving or brushing their teeth or eating or whatever," said TxDOT worker Jim Burton.
That message was displayed in bold print on the new TxDOT information boards on the south Loop. And in the split second it takes to do some of those seemingly simple tasks, people can die. TxDOT worker Jeff Gortney recalls a scary incident at his office.
"There was a car coming though and it started taking down barrels... And we were fortunate enough to get everyone in the construction area in a safe area," Gortney said.
And when a TxDOT worker is injured or killed - it's not just affecting one life. It also affects our families," said TxDOT safety supervisor, Christy McMeans.
"You can see a picture of my two sons here... I would hate to think what it would be like for them to grow up without their daddy. And my wife, it'd really be hard for her to raise these boys without me," added Gortney.
A very clear example of the worst case scenario is Cody Green. Green was hit by a tractor trailer on October 31st, 2006.
"Cody lost focus for just a split second and that's all it takes... If we're not paying 100 percent attention and if the motorist isn't paying 100 percent attention then that's when we end up with more crosses on the road," said Burton.
"You've got to be focused when you're driving and when you're in the work zone," added Granite Construction worker Andy Boyd.
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