Work Zone Safety Awareness

POCONO TOWNSHIP --  Driving down Route 611 near Mount Pocono is no easy task with a maze of barriers lined up in the middle lane.

PennDOT officials say it's even harder to work in between these barriers like some workers do every day.

That work took a scary turn earlier this week on Interstate 80 near Blakeslee.  Three PennDOT workers were hit and injured while patching potholes.

"This week we saw what happens when you're distracted, when you're driving aggressively, or just not being safe in work zones, there are real consequences," said Sean Brown, PennDOT District 5 Spokesman.

This week is National Work Zone Safety Awareness Week.

The annual spring campaign is held at the start of construction season to encourage safe driving through highway work zones.

"We average approximately three work zones intrusions a month within our district alone. Unfortunately this week, it was more than a work zone intrusion, we had injuries," said Dennis McArdle, PennDOT District 5 Safety Coordinator.

Officials say one of the biggest problems they see in work zone areas is impatience, especially when drivers go above the posted speed limit.

State police say the tractor-trailer driver who caused this week's crash on Interstate 80 was following another car too closely and rear-ended it into the workers.

Tracy Fox is the traffic safety coordinator for the Highway Safety Network and says people need to practice safer driving in work zones.

"You have to remember too, sometimes they only have these little barriers or traffic cones protecting them. They don't always have the big concrete walls that they put out for major projects so just like you and I have families that we want to get home to, so do they," said Tracy Fox, Traffic Safety Coordinator.

For more information about Work Zone Safety Awareness Week, click here.