National Work Zone Awareness Week

When it comes to Spring colors, orange is the hue KDOT wants you to care about.

The Kansas Department of Transportation is urging drivers to “go orange” and learn about the dangers of work zones.

Kansas First News reporter Vanessa Martinas explains how KDOT is doing that.

KDOT workers from all across the state are celebrating “National Work Zone Awareness Week.”

This week highlights the dangers highway workers face everyday, as vehicles zoom past them at 50 or more miles an hour.

Rick Looper has worked on highways for more than 20 years.

He says having a close call with drivers is frightening.

“It really scary specially you know one of my employees who get injured you know that’s and that takes away from you know their safety it takes away kind of their peace of mind of have to worry about you know looking over their back all the time,” Looper said.

KDOT Secretary Mike King says most highway accidents happen in work zones.

He stresses that speeding and distracted drivers are the biggest causes of those accidents.

“We really need people to be aware of what we’re doing out there and our maintenance activities and that they need to slow down or drive the posted speed limit and be aware of the workers that are in that area,” King said.

Loopers says the job is dangerous, but he needs to make an honest living some how.

“There are people put there that are working on road ways to make the road safer and they have to realize that we are there, we want to go home too just like they do,” Looper said.

33 KDOT employees have been killed in work zones since 1950.

The last highway worker death was in 2007.

KDOT officials say work zone safety is for both the workers and the drivers.

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