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TxDOT urges drivers to slow down, pay attention
by Joe Baker
Jun 27, 2014 | 234 views | 0 0 comments | 2 2 recommendations | email to a friend | print
KARNES COUNTY – The Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT) is reminding and urging drivers to put safety first by avoiding distraction and slowing down, especially considering the large volume of construction happening on local highways this time of year.

Karnes County, Bee, Live Oak and Goliad Counties are listed as having an especially high volume of road work happening at this time.

At least one fatality has been associated with a crash at a highway construction area in Karnes County in the past month, and TxDOT officials are hopeful that any further crashes at work areas can be prevented if drivers will slow down and pay closer attention to what is happening in front of them.

“A number of factors are in play that demand motorists pay increased attention to their driving habits and road conditions to help ensure their safety and the safety of road crews,” said Lonnie Gregorcyk, P.E., district engineer for the TxDOT Corpus Christi District.

These include:

• Increase in road maintenance projects during summer due to favorable working conditions;

• Numerous ongoing road widening and reconstruction projects in energy production areas;

• Lines of stopped vehicles due to lane closures in work zones; and

• Higher level of motorists traveling during vacation months.

To raise public awareness, TxDOT plans to deploy additional portable message signs to alert drivers to upcoming work zones where vehicles may be stopped for lane closures. Drivers also are urged to plan ahead and to allow extra travel time for work zones or to take an alternate route and avoid the area if possible.

“There is a great deal of road work under way in the Corpus Christi District. These projects are designed to make our roadways safer, but until they are completed there can be travel delays, and motorists should be especially cautious. The two most important actions a driver can take are to slow down and to pay attention,” Gregorcyk said.

In 2013, more than 80 percent of the fatalities in work zones were motorists, not workers, and the majority of the people who died were between the ages of 20 and 44.

“All the safety precautions in the world will not protect us from drivers who are speeding, distracted or impaired,” Gregorcyk said.

To make the roadways safer for all, TxDOT urges drivers to: slow down, put phones away, pay attention to road conditions, observe all traffic signs, be patient and maintain a safe following distance.
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