Technology making work more dangerous for road crews

By Donna McCollum - email

NACOGDOCHES, TX (KTRE) - Motorists should approach highway work zones with caution. Unfortunately, it doesn't happen all the time.

Certified Highway Flagger Alex Fields would like every week to be National Work Zone Awareness Week.

"It's kinda funny how people can't read a sign that says slow down and when you're doing your hands like this, flagging them, telling them to slow down they still don't pay attention," said Fields.

Fields works every day to get people to slow down.

"This car here is doing what she's supposed to be doing because she got over on the side of the work zone and kinda driving slow. See him, he's speeding through a work zone," said Fields.

The statistics. In 2008, 175 people were killed in highway construction and maintenance zones in Texas. That same year, six fatalities occurred in the Lufkin district. One each in Angelina, Houston and Polk counties. Three in Sabine County. Friday highway workers and law enforcement gathered to promote work zone safety.

"We're gonna be out there, on the road, troopers gonna be out there, in their black and whites, being seen, enforcing these traffic laws to make sure our work zones are as safe as we can make it possible," said  Greg Sanchez, with the Department of Public Safety.

"Slow down. It will only take a few moments," said Safety Engineer, David Dennis.

Besides slowing down, motorists are advised to avoid distractions like cell phones and music devices. One in three work zone crashes is a rear end collision.

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