Kentucky drivers urged to use caution as we head into road work season

Kentucky drivers urged to use caution as we head into road work season
Published: Apr. 19, 2023 at 3:48 PM EDT
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FRANKFORT, Ky. (WKYT) - There are currently more than 1,500 road projects in the state’s highway plan that are either underway or about to be underway.

Governor Andy Beshear declared this week Work Zone Safety Week, a time to urge drivers to pay extra attention when they see hard hats, cones and vests.

With that in mind, the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet held an event Wednesday to raise awareness about the importance of safety when driving through work zones.

“Workers depend on safe drivers to make it home every night,” said Kentucky Transportation Secretary Jim Gray. “I’m wearing a vest today to demonstrate two things. First, this is not armor. Second, we all have a vested interest in work zone safety.”

Gray says in the first quarter of 2023 KYTC awarded 194 new construction projects.

“That is on top of the hundreds of other projects already underway or about to start,” said Gray.

Gray says the transportation cabinet is always working toward safer roads and work zones. Some ways, he says, include regular safety training for employees and the use of special equipment like portable rumble strips and new orange barrels in the work zones.

However, the work crews also rely on you to do the right thing.

In 2022, there were more than 1,000 car crashes in work zones across the state. Six of those resulted in fatalities.

So, what should drivers do? The main message is slow down, be patient, and be alert.

Tyler Bullington recounted the moment a driver carelessly drove through his work zone and struck him in the back.

“The next thing I knew, I heard the vehicle coming from behind me. Before i could ever move out of the way, he had done struck me,” said Bullington.

Bullington says he spent countless hours in recovery, but he’s thankful to be alive.

“We ask for people to slow down, put the phone down, pay attention to what’s in front of you and you could save a life,” said Bullington.

Kentucky State Police Captain Paul Blanton says they too are stepping up to keep work crews and motorists safe.

“You will see an increased presence of KSP and local law enforcement in and around work zones across Kentucky,” Blanton said.