DEFIANCE COUNTY, Ohio — Summer, the height of construction season, is the time of year when accidents involving road crew workers happen the most. Last year, 14 people were killed and 961 were injured in Ohio in road work accidents.
So, the Ohio Department of Transportation along with the Ohio Highway Patrol and the Ohio Laborers-Employers Cooperation Education Trust are partnering up to remind drivers what they can do to keep the roads safe for workers and others.
ODOT crews were busy Tuesday at the intersection of State Routes 281 and 18 in Defiance County.
The chip-sealing process of laying down hot asphalt, then fine grade stone is a cost-saving strategy that extends the life of roads up to four years.
But while these crews were busy working, they were also feet away from moving traffic.
"It is, it's right there. It's one one wrong step for them, it's one moment of inattention from the traveling public, and tragedy can happen," said Chris Hughes, Deputy Director of ODOT District 1.
Historically, the month with the highest occurrence of work zone accidents is August.
Officials want to limit these occurrences by encouraging people to pay attention and respect work zone signs by moving over when appropriate.
"You know, we're out there making the roads safer for all of the millions of people who travel the state of Ohio everyday. But who is trying to make the road safer for them while they're doing that? And our message is, hopefully all of us by moving over," Bethany Billi, executive director of LECET said.
Additionally, the Ohio Highway patrol will be taking part in a statewide crack of Ohio's move-over law during the week of July 21 to July 27.