AUGUSTA COUNTY, Va. (WHSV) — In recognition of National Work Zone Awareness Week, the Virginia Department of Transportation is taking new measures to protect both drivers and workers at work zones.
Sandy Myers, the communication manager for Staunton VDOT, said starting this year, work zones will have rumble strips, a safety tool that will be used to capture the attention of drivers as well as alert workers to cars entering a work zone.
Myers said work zone safety is everyone's responsibility and VDOT hopes the new safety device will keep drivers focused on the road in front of them.
"We often hear, 'I didn't see the sign,' 'I didn't see you until it's too late,'" said Myers. "This is something that gives both the driver and the workers a heads up and that hey, somebody is coming down the road and we all need to pay attention and be alert."
In addition to warning signs, the new strips will serve as physical, auditory and visual warning for drivers to pay attention with three strips leading up to and out of each work zone.
According to Myers, Virginia lost 12 people last year to work zone crashes and with the additional warning signs, they hope to have zero fatalities this year.
"Our hope is that we can stand here a year from now and say they are no deaths," said Myers. "We don't want anybody to die in a work zone, we don't want anyone to die on Virginia roads period."
Because work zones have changing conditions, VDOT advises drivers passing through to slow down, keep a safe distance and obey all signs.