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Show your support for Washington’s road workers – Go Orange for Work Zone Safety

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Date:  Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Contact: Alice Fiman, WSDOT Communications, 360-705-7080 (Olympia)

OLYMPIA – It’s simple really: See orange, slow down.

The Washington State Department of Transportation joins roadway and utility workers across the state, who work just feet from moving traffic, in asking drivers to remember that simple rule and to slow down when they see those bright orange cones.

Each spring, as construction and maintenance work increases, WSDOT asks members of the media and the public to Go Orange for Work Zone Safety during National Work Zone Safety Awareness Week, April 23-27.

WSDOT will host its annual Worker Memorial at 10 a.m. Wednesday, April 25. Special guest Terry Linder, a 25-year WSDOT employee, will share his experience being injured while working on the road. In August 2011, a vehicle struck Linder while he was working on a traffic signal on Camano Island.

“There are men and women like Terry working all over our state. He was just doing his job, and now his life is changed forever,” said state Transportation Secretary Paula Hammond. “Let’s all work together to make sure every road worker gets home safe every night.”

WSDOT encourages members of the media, as well as the public, across the state to show their orange all week to honor Linder and all workers facing the dangers of traffic and bring attention to motorist and worker safety. Ideas for showing support are available on the WSDOT Go Orange for Work Zone Safety website.

On Monday WSDOT’s website will switch from green to orange, and WSDOT workers will continue showing their support by posting photos and tributes to roadway workers. Everyone is encouraged to send their best photo of Going Orange for Work Zone Safety to Orange@wsdot.wa.gov, or they can post them on the WSDOT Flickr site or Tweet them and mention @wsdot. The most popular photos will be featured each day on WSDOT’s home page.

Washington averages almost 1,000 highway work zone injuries each year, with rear-enders caused by inattentive driving the most common type collision in work zones. When drivers help keep workers safe, they also help themselves. National studies show that four out of five work zone crashes result in injuries or worse to drivers and their passengers.

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