Wear orange for Justin: Work Zone Safety is Everyone’s Responsibility

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April 9, 2018 — Justin and Amy Vallad were expecting their second child and settling into their new home in Standish near the Saginaw Bay. An unexpected knock on the door came the morning of March 10, 2012, that changed things forever. Justin, a 27-year-old construction worker for Surveying Solutions Inc., was killed in a work zone that day on I-94 at 12 Mile Road in St. Clair Shores.

             Justin’s death is just one example of many tragedies in Michigan and throughout the country that can happen when drivers lose focus or don’t follow the rules in a work zone. This video tells the story of how a split second of inattention can turn into a heartbreaking incident: https://youtu.be/AimUG-y6cHA.

             Today starts National Work Zone Awareness Week (NWZAW), which serves as a wakeup call to motorists to pay attention and drive safely at all times. Unfortunately for families like the Vallads, it’s another reminder about their lost loved one.

             To show your support for the Vallad family, and for the safety of road workers and all motorists, the Michigan Department of Transportation (MDOT) and its statewide safety partners ask you to Go Orange this Wednesday. MDOT encourages everyone to wear orange to proudly show their support of work zone safety. To participate, share a photo on social media of you or your team wearing orange, including the hashtags #Orange4Safety and #NWZAW.

             Safety experts from around the state are meeting today in Troy to create awareness and discuss challenges and solutions for work zone safety. For more information on today’s public event, visit https://goo.gl/ZKX5Bp.

             Preliminary 2017 Michigan work zone crash information shows there were 4,204 work zone crashes (down from 4,994 in 2016), with 25 people losing their lives (up from 18 in 2016). There were also 73 serious injuries (down from 76 in 2016).

             As part of the Toward Zero Deaths (TZD) national safety campaign, a vision of eliminating fatalities on our nation’s roads, NWZAW became a national event in 2000. For more facts, stats and information about work zone safety, visitwww.ops.fhwa.dot.gov/wz/outreach/wz_awareness.htm andwww.michigan.gov/mdotworkzones.

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