Campaign Aimed At Slowing Down Drivers - KLTV.com - Tyler, Longview, Jacksonville |ETX News

9/3/04-East Texas

Campaign Aimed At Slowing Down Drivers

Last year in Texas, more people were killed in work zone related crashes than in any other state in the nation. That's one big reason TxDOT has launched a massive television and print campaign aimed at getting drivers to slow down.

It's called "Give Us A Break" and one group in particular is hoping it works.

You've probably seen the spots on T.V.. Creative, even comical skits highlighting a very serious subject. Over the next few weeks the Department of Transportation will spend nearly a half million dollars in markets across the state, hoping to get you to slow down.

Bernard Copeland is one of those hoping the spots sink in. A TxDOT worker for the past 20 years, he understands the danger of working close to the road.

"You have traffic driving anywhere from 70-80 miles an hour sometimes and out here on this road right here it gets real dangerous," said Copeland.

This past year Texas had more than 100 fatalities related to work zone crashes, some of the most vulnerable are workers, who in some cases, are less than 3 feet away from the traffic.

"We have strobe lights, we have cones, signs, air boards sometimes they still come through there too fast," said employee Tommy Hilton.

Hilton knows how close he comes to danger everyday. He says no matter what precautions workers take, their safety is up to drivers.

"We just try to give them as much room as they can that's all we can do."

So if the T.V. spots don't do the trick just take it from someone who knows.

"Anytime you see some cones or signs that's a sign something is going on so you need to slow down and at least pay attention to what's going on," said Copeland.

TxDOT says 40% of accidents that occur in work zones are caused by either speeding or by drivers under the influence of alcohol. Speeding through work zones is not only dangerous it can cost you. In most work zones, the cost of a traffic violation doubles.

Chris Gibson, reporting
cgibson@kltv.com

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