Highway safety top of mind as construction season begins - WQOW TV: Eau Claire, WI NEWS18 News, Weather, and Sports

Highway safety top of mind as construction season begins

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Eau Claire (WQOW)- It's Work Zone Awareness Week, and the Wisconsin Department of Transportation wants drivers to know keeping crews safe is everyone's responsibility.

DOT officials were in Eau Claire Tuesday to remind drivers to stay alert in construction areas, and pay attention to the speed limit. 

Last year, there were 2,763 crashes in work zones, over 1,000 injuries and six fatalities in Wisconsin alone. The DOT is hoping to improve those numbers by using dynamic message signs and temporary portable rumble strips. 

Eau Claire County Highway Commissioner, Jon Johnson said he always worries about his workers when they're out on the job. 

"Two incidents where one of them was on the bypass, where a distracted driver was driving too fast and wasn't paying attention in order to avoid our work zone. They drove off the road, and lost control, and rolled their vehicle because they weren't paying attention," Johnson said,

Johnson said this accident happened last year. 

He said sometimes they spend more time putting up signs for the projects to ensure safety, than it actually takes to complete the construction. 

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