2024 National Work Zone Awareness Week

NWZAW 2024 Stay Alert Stay Alive

As the United States observes National Work Zone Awareness Week (April 15 to 19, 2024), Flagger Force, an industry-leading, Safety-Driven®, short-term traffic control company headquartered in Pennsylvania with operations that span the East Coast, is sharing tips to help keep motorists and roadway workers out of harm’s way.  

Individuals who work on or near the roadway, such as utility contractors, telecommunication providers, and traffic control professionals, face dangerous conditions every day. In 2022, there were 1,293 work zone crashes in Pennsylvania, resulting in 14 fatalities, according to the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation. As the weather warms up and the number of work zones increases across the state, it is critical motorists understand that “work zones are temporary, but actions behind the wheel can last forever,” which is the theme of this year’s National Work Zone Awareness Week (NWZAW) campaign.

As a leader in short-term traffic control, operating more than 1,000 active work zones daily, Flagger Force has unfortunately seen firsthand that when drivers dismiss advance warning signs for work zones, disobey laws that dictate proper conduct, and disregard the individuals working on or near the roadway, it can lead to devastating injuries and fatalities. As part of NWZAW, Flagger Force is committed to sharing ways communities can work together to improve work zone safety, protect roadway workers, and reduce the number of tragic accidents.

  • Stay Alert. Stay Alive. When operating a vehicle, it is critical motorists stay alert. From driving distracted to driving under the influence, there are several actions that can lead to devastating outcomes. Flagger Force reminds drivers to avoid texting, using their vehicle’s built-in touchscreens and displays, reaching around for items, or engaging in any other activity that will take their attention away from the road. Certain habits can also increase the likelihood of distracted driving. For example, individuals who drive the same vehicle or take the same commute to work every day are more likely to drive distracted because they are comfortable with their routine. Distracted driving is dangerous, and many work zone accidents occur because motorists do not stay alert and do not see the warning signs for an approaching work zone until it is too late.
    Driving under the influence also impacts an individual’s ability to remain alert. When navigating a work zone impaired, drivers are slower to react to traffic control professionals’ signals and roadway changes. Flagger Force encourages community members to never drive under the influence because it puts multiple lives at risk.
  • Move Over. Pennsylvania’s Move Over Law requires motorists who encounter an emergency response area to merge into a lane further away. This creates additional space and reduces the risk of intrusions. If it is not possible to move over, drivers must reduce their speed to no more than 20 mph below the posted speed limit, according to the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation. In Pennsylvania, emergency response areas include work zones with posted signs. 
  • Slow Down. Speeding in active work zones puts both traffic control professionals and motorists at risk. Last month, the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation and the Pennsylvania Turnpike Commission, in partnership with the Pennsylvania State Police, started to enforce the statewide Work Zone Speed Safety Camera program, which aims to reduce speeding and accidents in work zones. Motorists who are captured exceeding the speed limit in marked work zones will be penalized with a warning letter for the first offense, a violation notice with a $75 fine for the second offense, and a violation notice with a $150 fine for the third and all subsequent offenses, per the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation. Flagger Force supports this new program and strives to increase awareness of the state’s work zone laws to enhance safety.
  • Understand Pennsylvania’s Traffic Laws. It is important that motorists understand their state’s traffic laws. As new legislation aimed at improving work zone safety is enacted and enforced, community members must be aware of their civil responsibilities as well as the consequences of violating these laws, such as fines, criminal implications, and more importantly causing serious injuries or death. To learn more about Pennsylvania’s work zone safety laws, please visit the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation’s website.

 In addition to educating motorists about the important role they play in keeping themselves and roadway workers safe, Flagger Force will host and participate in events, collaborate with industry partners and elected officials, and offer employees special training courses as part of National Work Zone Awareness Week.

“When working on or near the roadway every day, employees can become normalized to the risks and dangers their work environment presents, which is why education is a key part of Flagger Force’s Safety-Driven® culture. We leverage continuous hands-on training and customized, microlearning modules to deliver engaging and relevant safety content to our team members to ensure safety remains at the forefront,” said Luke Lazar, CSP, VP of risk and safety at Flagger Force. “While educating our team members is one piece of the puzzle, public awareness regarding the dangers of reckless driving in work zones is also critical. In honor of National Work Zone Awareness Week, I encourage everyone to stop and think about their actions behind the wheel to create safer roadways.” 

Mike Doner, president and CEO at Flagger Force added, “Many of our traffic control professionals have witnessed or experienced reckless driving behaviors firsthand, such as motorists who disobey signage, speed, or drive distracted through active work zones. These dangerous actions must be stopped to ensure everyone arrives home safely to their loved ones at the end of each day. National Work Zone Awareness Week presents an opportunity for Flagger Force to amplify work zone safety efforts, raise critical awareness of the dangers and impacts of reckless driving, and educate individuals about the laws enforced in their communities to protect roadway workers.”  

Founded by the Virginia Department of Transportation, National Work Zone Awareness Week is an annual campaign held at the start of construction season to encourage safe driving through work zones. State departments of transportation, road safety organizations, government agencies, and private companies all come together to recognize the campaign. For additional information, please visit https://www.nwzaw.org/.

About Flagger Force

Flagger Force is recognized as an industry-leading, Safety-Driven®, short-term traffic control company, headquartered in Hummelstown, Pennsylvania, with operations that span the East Coast, and expanding. They utilize a crew-centric operations model to establish safe work zones with a full-time employee base of 2,000 professionals. Flagger Force’s best-in-class resources and expertise have driven the consistent growth of their service capacity to help support the nation’s expanding utilities, telecommunications, and other infrastructure-centered needs. For more information, visit FlaggerForce.com.


Media Contact

For inquiries, please contact:
Alyssa Martelli, external communications specialist   717.728.8520   Alyssa.Martelli@FlaggerForce.com