April 9, 2014
Highway construction season is in full swing, meaning drivers will be passing through more work zones this time of year.
On Wednesday night, the Virginia Department of Transportation held a vigil for those who have lost their lives in work zone crashes.
Last year, there were 21 fatalities in the state that involved work zone crashes.
The vigil took place at the VDOT Workers' Memorial on eastbound Interstate 64 in Afton.
Family members of victims attended, as well as law enforcement, transportation secretary Aubrey Layne and other transportation officials.
The ceremony coincided with National Work Zone Awareness Week, which is April 7 to 11.
This year's theme is "Work Zone Speeding: A Costly Mistake."
VDOT's tips for increasing safety as you navigate highway work zones:
Follow the signs. Signs and flaggers will direct you through the work zone. Expect changes in traffic patterns as the project progresses.
Don't tailgate. Unexpected stops frequently occur in work zones.
Don't speed. Enhanced fines of up to $500 may be levied for speeding in a work zone.
Focus. Focus your full attention on the road and those traveling around you.
Never change lanes in the work zone.
Minimize distractions. Avoid changing radio stations and using phones.
Expect the unexpected. Keep an eye out for workers and equipment.
Be patient. Remember, crew members are working to improve the highway and the safety and comfort of your future travels.