SDDOT highlighting work zone awareness

Local News

SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (KELO) — Orange cone season is starting to ramp up in KELOLAND, and that means more workers will be sharing the roads with drivers.

This week, transportation officials are highlighting work zone awareness.

Crashes in work zones led to more than 800 deaths in the nation in 2019, according to the USDOT.

Whether you’re in town or on a highway, it’s important to be aware of work zones.

“The warmer it gets the more construction you’ll see,” SDDOT Sioux Falls Area Engineer Harry Johnston said.

When you do spot a work zone, there are some safety rules you should be following.

“Undistracted driving is huge when you’re going through a work zone, so slowing down, getting rid of the distractions whether it’s the radio or you cell phone, whatever it may be,” Johnston said.

Kirk Henderson is a Sioux Falls Area Project Engineer for the South Dakota Department of Transportation.

He’s seen crashes in work zones due to speeding and distracted driving.

“It hits home. On a project you could be working a few feet from, traffic going by at 45 to 65 miles an hour. It could just as easily be you that gets hurt,” SDDOT Sioux Falls Area Project Engineer Kirk Henderson said.

But some extra care on the roads can help avoid that.

“We want our employees to be able to go home safely every night. They have families and stuff outside of work that we want to make sure they’re able to go home to,” Johnston said.

Henderson also recommends giving yourself some extra time to reach your destination.

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