Program-Level Public Information and Outreach Examples
Program-level public information and outreach is important to drawing attention to the safety and mobility issues in work zones and encouraging drivers to be vigilant while driving through work zones. While several States have their own work zone outreach programs, there are also various programs available at the national level.
- National Work Zone Awareness Week
- FHWA-Developed Resources
- Videos and Public Service Announcements
- Examples of State DOT Outreach Campaigns
- Additional Program-Level Public Information and Outreach Resources
Held annually, National Work Zone Awareness Week is designed to bring national attention to motorist and worker safety and mobility issues in work zones.
- Work Zone Safety Brochures – produced by the FHWA Office of Safety
- FHWA Work Zone Safety Videos – These videos remind drivers to "stay alert, stay alive" in work zones.
- AASHTO Public Service Announcement for 2011 National Work Zone Awareness Week - Stresses that four out of every five victims in a work zone crash is a motorist and encourages drivers to pay attention in work zones.
- Work Zone Safety Program/National Work Zone Awareness Week Video - Discusses work zone safety issues, FHWA's Work Zone Safety Program, and National Work Zone Awareness Week.
- Florida DOT Public Service Announcement - Developed for National Work Zone Awareness Week 2008, letting people know that "Work Zone Safety - It's Everyone's Job." This PSA was aired for 90 days statewide starting in April 2008 through an agreement with the Florida Association of Broadcasters.
- Michigan DOT: Freeway Work Zone Speed Limits - Informs motorists of safe speed limits on Michigan freeways when workers are present.
- North Carolina DOT Educational Videos and Public Service Announcements - Includes videos on driving safely in work zones, including a video targeted to truck drivers called, "Under Construction: Trucking in the Work Zone."
- Oklahoma DOT Work Zone Safety Videos - Four videos that highlight the need for safety in and around Oklahoma highway work zones.
- Oregon DOT Public Service Announcements - These audio and video PSAs were developed for the 2011 construction season.
- Texas DOT Public Service Announcements - Several work zone safety videos created for television broadcasting in both English and Spanish.
- Texas DOT YouTube Channel - Includes numerous work zone safety videos, including "Don't Be a Statistic", which focuses on the fact that 4 out of 5 fatalities in Texas highway work zones are drivers, and "Work Zone Safety - What One Thing?", which has several construction workers describing the one thing they want drivers to do when driving through work zones.
- Virginia DOT Work Zone Videos - Several videos, including stories from VDOT workers and a Virginia State Trooper about their experiences working in work zones.
- Virginia DOT: A Sudden Change of Plans (WMV 4.6MB) - This 7 minute video is an update of a North Carolina DOT video that illustrates how driver distraction in and around a work zone can fatality injure a worker, changing the lives of the driver and the worker's family.
- Washington State DOT Work Zone Awareness Video - 2012 work zone safety and awareness video.
- Wisconsin DOT Audio and Video Clips - Video and audio clips that urge drivers to pay attention in work zones. The clips feature stories of workers who have survived near-fatal incidents, as well as a powerful ad that portrays a driver getting out of his car in shock to find that he has hit a construction worker.
Webinar on Work Zone Awareness Week: Outreach Ideas and Strategies – Held on February 6, 2013
- Transcript (HTML, PDF 84KB)
- Virginia Presentation, by David Rush, Virginia Department of Transportation (HTML, PDF 3.7MB)
- Texas Presentation, by Kelli Reyna, Texas Department of Transportation (HTML, PDF 2.1MB)
- Missouri Presentation, by Julie Stotlemeyer, Missouri Department of Transportation (HTML, PDF 1.9MB)
Arkansas State Highway and Transportation Department Example
The Arkansas State Highway and Transportation Department (AHTD) "Know the RED Zones" campaign highlights areas with significantly reduced capacity during highway construction projects in the state. These areas are known as Red Zones. The goal of the campaign is to ensure travelers are aware of these Red Zones and to consider alternate routes, when available, before they get into the construction area. Alternatively, if they choose to drive through the project, the campaign aims to provide drivers with the latest information available for the safest possible travel. Travel tips and project information can be found on the RED Zones web site. Truckers are also be able to access restricted road and bridge information on alternate routes at this site.
Delaware DOT Example
In March 2008 the Delaware Department of Transportation (DelDOT) embarked on its most significant Work Zone Safety Awareness Campaign, employing a variety of marketing techniques to promote work zone safety. These techniques included radio ads, billboards on roadways, and buses decorated with work zone safety messages. DelDOT used the theme, "Hey! We're working here!" for the campaign. The campaign was part of a three-part year-long educational campaign that also focused on pedestrian and neighborhood safety.
Illinois DOT Example
The Illinois DOT launched a work zone safety campaign, entitled "Embrace the Orange", in response to an increase in work zone fatalities. The campaign's goals are to reduce work zone crashes and fatalities on Illinois roadways. The Embrace the Orange web site provides information about how to be safe in work zones, work zone standards and policies, information about photo speed enforcement and work zone crash statistics. Visitors to the web site are also encouraged to do their part to help save lives and sign the Work Zone Safety Pledge. The pledge asks motorists not to text and drive or talk on the phone in work zones. It also encourages motorists to be safe in work zones by obeying the posted speed limits at all times, pay attention to changing conditions and be courteous to other motorists.
Iowa DOT Example
On July 1, 2008 Iowa's fines for speeding in a work zone significantly increased. Speeding up to 10 mph over the legal limit costs drivers $150, 20 mph - $300, 25 mph - $500, and the fine over 25 is $1,000. The effort to increase work zone speeding penalties was led by an Iowa Department of Transportation maintenance worker who was struck by a vehicle while performing flagging operations. Iowa created a public outreach campaign to notify drivers about the new fines. The campaign includes a web site that provides background information about the activities leading up to implementation of the fines, a fact sheet, news releases, and new highway signs.
Missouri DOT Example
Missouri DOT (MoDOT) uses an online survey to gain driver feedback on its state highway work zones to evaluate visibility and traffic flow. Travelers can comment on advanced warning, speed limit, travel timeliness, and safety of the work zone. Compilation of the 1,191 surveys received between April and June 2011 resulted in a positive satisfaction rating of 96 percent for work zone traffic flow. Similar results were found for the first quarter of 2011 and overall, this is a four percent increase from the 92 percent customer satisfaction reported for 2010. MoDOT publishes the results as part of their ongoing performance monitoring program (MoDOT Tracker).
The North Carolina Department of Transportation (NCDOT) created its Work Zone Safety Program in 1989 to promote safety and reduce fatalities in work zones. This program develops and disseminates promotional materials about work zone safety; develops public service announcements and videos; and provides materials to help educators teach about work zone safety. The program has its own mascots, Buddy Barrel and Connie Cone, who appear in promotional materials and are available for events. NCDOT developed a manual that provides tips and ideas on how to best use the mascots to generate exposure at events. Program initiatives include Operation Drive Smart, an effort to reduce the number of collisions in North Carolina's work zones; a video and other materials aimed at truck drivers, developed in partnership with Carolinas Associated General Contractors and the North Carolina Trucking Association; and a work zone safety poster contest for children.
- NCDOT Work Zone Safety Program Web Site
- Fact Sheet: Communicating Work Zone Information to Truckers in North Carolina (HTML, PDF 239KB)
Oregon DOT Example
The Oregon DOT (ODOT) has a work zone safety program that is aimed at reducing the number of injury and fatal traffic crashes that occur in highway work zones in Oregon. The program includes engineering, education, enforcement and emergency medical services. The ODOT work zone safety web site has public service announcements, facts and statistics, and brochures and flyers that provide safety tips for workers and drivers. In 2007, Oregon promoted work zone safety on a giant 48-foot by 18-foot curtain draped over ODOT's fleet trailer. In big, bold letters the bright orange curtain said, "Slow Down. Better Roads Ahead." The fleet trailer traveled the state and was also available for safety fairs and other special events.
Texas DOT Example
The Texas DOT (TxDOT) has seen a 35 percent decrease in work zone fatalities in 2009 from the previous year and attributes it to increased safety measures and public outreach efforts. TxDOT has a work zone safety web site that provides driver safety tips, facts and statistics about work zones in Texas, and public service announcements. It also includes print materials such as brochures, fact sheets, and posters, providing work zone safety information for motorists and workers.
The Virginia Department of Transportation (VDOT) has a work zone safety web site that includes information on how VDOT observes National Work Zone Awareness Week; audio, video, and transcripts for several public service announcements; work zone statistics; and informational materials for kids and teens, including a teacher's guide that contains resources, information and activities for work zone awareness. As indicated on the web site, VDOT puts strong emphasis on work zone outreach to teenage drivers, having reached out to more than 97,000 teens since the statewide outreach began in 2003.
- Maximizing Investments in Work Zone Safety in Oregon (PDF 1.7MB) - report examining methods for maximizing ODOT work zone safety investments in enforcement, traffic control, and public information. Includes a section on literature review findings related to how work zone safety public awareness programs can enhance safety, as well as a section on ODOT's existing work zone public awareness programs.
- Assessing Public Inconvenience in Highway Work Zones (Oregon DOT, June 2002) - Final Report (PDF 1.05MB)
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