Campaign urges safety in highway work zones

Local

Three organizations came together Tuesday to push for work zone safety as part of National Work Zone Awareness week. 

“Pretend that person standing there is your child simple as that,” said John Wozniak, commissioner of the Pennsylvania Turnpike. 

In 2017, there were 132 work zone fatalities across the nation, and just last year, 97 percent of work zone employees witnesses distracted driving in a work zone. 

Flagger Force field specialist Jacqueline McVey was one of those who recently had a near miss incident. She says she fears for her life while she is at work. 

“You learn to cope with it. You learn different ways and techniques, how to do things more safely while you’re working,” said McVey. 

Jason Wagner represents over 400 companies that do business in and around highway construction. He says the memorial representing the lives lost in work zones is a sobering reminder. 

“Construction work in and of itself is dangerous. They have to pay attention to the equipment, the ditches, the things that are going on around them,” said Wagner. 

Pamela Buckwalter is an advocate for Slow Down, Move Over after losing her husband while he was getting his car towed on a roadside.

“If you don’t give safety to someone who is in a work zone, they may never make it to their destinations. 
At the end of the day, you may have a good day, but someone may be making funeral plans that evening,” said Buckwalter.

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