The Colorado Dept. of Transportation held its annual Remembrance Day ceremony at its headquarters on April 1 to honor the 58 CDOT employees who have died in the line of duty since 1929. Joining CDOT were representatives from the Colorado State Patrol, Federal Highway Administration and Colorado Contractors Association.
“With the highway construction season getting set to move into high gear, this is an excellent opportunity to remember our fallen workers and highlight the need for safe driving throughout the state, not just in work zones, but along all of our roadways,” said CDOT Executive Director Shailen Bhatt.
“We often forget that the men and women working in those cone zones are part of someone’s family and people should drive through construction zones as if a worker was a member of your family or a friend. That’s why this year’s theme for Remembrance Day is ‘Home Safely Every Day," he said.
The ceremony was held in conjunction with the recent proclamation from Gov. John Hickenlooper, recognizing National Work Zone Awareness Week.
In 2013 there were 11 crashes, resulting in 14 work-zone fatalities in Colorado. In 2014 there were nine crashes, resulting in 10 fatalities. However, a majority of construction zone accidents (85%) are drivers and/or their passengers, not roadside workers.
Nationally, more than 600 persons are killed and another 37,000 persons are injured in work zone crashes each year—an average of seven motorists and one highway worker is killed in any given five-day work week.
While highways workers are at great risk every day, it is just as critical for motorists to be safe and responsible in work zones. In fact, four out of five work zone fatalities are motorists, not highway workers.
CDOT averages between 175 and 200 projects on state highways and interstates each year, not including maintenance projects.