VDOT urges Virginia motorists to ‘work with us’

National Work Zone Awareness Week is April 17 - 21, 2023

Workzone Safety Week Poster
Workzone Safety Week Poster

RICHMOND — The Virginia Department of Transportation (VDOT) will observe National Work Zone Awareness Week (NWZAW) Monday to Friday, April 17 – 21, to honor employees and contractors who risk their lives to keep Virginia moving every day. 

All week long VDOT will alert drivers to the potential dangers of highway work zones, which claimed 22 lives across Virginia last year. Nationwide, more than 80% of those who die in work zone crashes are motorists or passengers. 

The 2023 theme is “Work with Us,” a reminder that highway workers and motorists all play a key role in work zone safety. 

“The men and women working on our roadways have the same goal as drivers – to get home safely at the end of the day. That requires a partnership,” said Virginia Secretary of Transportation Shep Miller. “VDOT strives to clearly mark its work zones and make sure motorists can navigate them safely. Drivers have a responsibility to slow down and completely focus on the roadway.” 

“Every spring, drivers see more construction and maintenance on Virginia’s roads and bridges,” said VDOT Commissioner Stephen Brich. “Work zones can have changing traffic patterns, slow-moving heavy equipment and visual distractions. We ask the traveling public to work with us for their own safety and ours.” 

VDOT’s employees and contractors are committed to work zone safety. Virginia has led the way to raise awareness of the challenges that workers and drivers encounter in work zones. 

VDOT continues working with other state transportation departments, federal government agencies, national road safety organizations, private companies and industry leaders to educate travelers on work zone safety. 

Join us in observing National Work Zone Awareness Week: 

  • Monday, April 17: NWZAW Kick-off day. Start a conversation about safety.
  • Wednesday, April 19: Go Orange Day and statewide NWZAW observance. Wear orange and share your support of work zone safety by posting pictures on your social media accounts with #GoOrangeDayVA. Wednesday evening, VDOT and its partners will gather at the VDOT Workers’ Memorial on Afton Mountain to honor those who lost their lives in work zone incidents.
  • Friday, April 21: A statewide moment of silence at 10 a.m. to remember workers killed in service to the Commonwealth. Follow VDOT on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter. Show us your support by liking, sharing, and posting with the hashtag #NWZAW. 

NWZAW history 

In 1997, a group of VDOT employees in the Bristol District wanted to dedicate a week to raise awareness about work zone safety among all district employees before road work increased in the spring. Following the successful promotion of the first event, VDOT shared the idea to have similar messaging with other DOTs to promote a uniform set of safety tips. Since 2000, National Work Zone Awareness Week has been observed across the United States. 

Tips to safely navigate work zones: 

  • Stay alert.
  • Slow down.
  • Use caution.
  • Follow the signs. Signs and flaggers will direct you through work zones. Expect changes in traffic patterns as a project progresses.
  • Watch out for workers and slow-moving equipment.
  • Allow extra space between your vehicle and the one in front of you.
  • Expect speed limits to vary in work zones. Enhanced fines of up to $500 may be levied for speeding in a work zone.
  • Be patient. Crews are working to improve the safety and comfort of your travels.
  • Never change lanes in a work zone.
  • Know before you go. Before starting a trip, visit org for real-time information on traffic, lane closures, work zones and incidents. Download the free mobile 511Virginia app, or call 511 from any phone in Virginia.


Last updated: July 11, 2024

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