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Southern Company’s Georgia Power, Georgia DOT Encourage Drivers to be Road Work Aware

Partnership highlights road safety tips for crews and drivers during National Work Zone Awareness Week

Originally Published by Southern Company.

Spring has arrived which means road, tree and utility work is on the rise. Georgia Power, in collaboration with the Georgia Department of Transportation (GDOT), encourages motorists to drive alert during National Work Zone Awareness Week, which runs from April 8-12. The theme of this year’s national campaign is “Drive Like You Work Here.”

National Work Zone Awareness Week, which began in 1999, is designed to inform motorists about the dangers of driving through work zones and of the perils faced by construction and maintenance workers. According to GDOT’s most recent statistics, there were 20,834 total crashes in Georgia work zones in 2017, resulting in 7,276 injuries and 55 fatalities.

Work Zone Safety Tips You Can Use:

  • Obey the Rules of Work Zone: (1) Pay attention (2) Slow down (3) Watch for workers
  • Expect the Unexpected. Things may change quickly. Normal speed limits may be reduced, traffic lanes may be closed, narrowed, or shifted, and people may be working on or near the road.
  • Don’t Speed. Obey the posted speed limit, even when workers are not present. In 2016, there were 190 work zone fatal crashes where speeding was a factor.
  • Don’t Tailgate. Keep a safe distance between you and the car ahead of you and the construction workers and their equipment.
  • Obey Road Crew Flaggers and Pay Attention to Signs. Failure to obey speed limit signs or a flagger’s traffic control directions can result in hefty fines and/or imprisonment.
  • Stay Alert and Minimize Distractions. Give your full attention to the roadway and avoid changing radio stations or using cell phones and other electronic devices while approaching and driving in a work zone.
  • Georgia is a Hands-Free state. As of July 2018, it’s now illegal to hold your phone while driving in the state of Georgia. Drivers caught using their phones while not parked face a $50 fine, which doubles upon their second offense.

In July of 2016, utility vehicles were included in Georgia’s “Move Over Law,” which requires drivers to move over one lane when crews are working on the roadside. The addition of utility workers to the law will help to ensure safety for linemen who may be working on the roadside at night or following severe weather to repair damaged equipment or restore power for customers.  If drivers are unable to move over, they should slow down below the speed limit and be prepared to stop.

The safety of Georgia Power’s employees and customers is a top priority every day. Georgia Power is an active member of the Georgia OSHA Struck-By Alliance which provides member organizations with information, guidance, and access to training resources to help protect the health and safety of workers. To mark National Work Zone Awareness Week, Georgia Power field staff will receive additional instruction on safety best practices and situational awareness to use throughout the year.

Additional Resources from the Georgia Department of Transportation
Before getting on the road during winter weather Georgia DOT urges motorists to call 511 for updated information on roadway conditions. Georgia 511 is a free phone service that provides real-time traffic and travel information statewide, including closures and hazardous conditions on interstates and state routes. Callers can transfer to operators to request complimentary vehicle assistance on interstate highways across Georgia from the Highway Emergency Response Operators (HERO) and the Coordinated Highway Assistance & Maintenance (CHAMP) programs – 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Call 511 for vehicle assistance or to report an issue. Visit www.511ga.org. For information about Georgia DOT, visit www.dot.ga.gov. Follow Georgia DOT on Facebook (www.facebook.com/GeorgiaDOT) and Twitter (http://twitter.com/gadeptoftrans).

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