DOTD, LSP, Highway Safety Commission are concerned about construction zone safety

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Baton Rouge- The Louisiana Department of Transportation and Development would like to remind motorists to use caution while traveling in work zones. On the evening of January 13, there were two incidents involving DOTD contract workers, which resulted in one confirmed fatality on I-10 near Lafayette and one worker missing on I-310 in St. Charles Parish. Both of these incidents were avoidable.

“The past couple of days we have noticed an uptick in motorists driving unsafe in spite of the significant investment of effort and money to ensure safe travel conditions,” said DOTD Secretary Shawn D. Wilson, Ph.D. “As we continue to make progress across the state, we will see an increase in projects, which means more, and perhaps longer construction zones. In spite of the reduced traffic related to the pandemic, we are seeing an increase in fatalities on our system. This should serve as a somber reminder of the importance of driver responsibility.”

“Troopers across the state work alongside highway construction zone personnel and DOTD representatives to ensure safe work environments as we move forward improving community and transportation infrastructures,” stated Colonel Lamar Davis, Louisiana State Police Superintendent. “We urge motorists to do their part through good decisions behind the wheel including never driving impaired or distracted and ensuring proper restraint use by all occupants.”

“The increase in risky driving behavior, which we have seen in Louisiana and throughout the country, is as much a public health epidemic as any other community crisis,” said Lisa Freeman, Louisiana Highway Safety Commission Executive Director. “We cannot compound the devastating loss of life associated with COVID-19 by adding more deaths from preventable traffic fatalities. Unsafe driving behavior doesn’t just happen. It’s a choice between driving sober or driving impaired; a choice between driving focused or driving distracted; a choice of buckling up and driving the speed limit or being unrestrained and speeding. We urge everyone to make the right choice—the only choice to give us a chance at safely arriving at our destinations.”

Follow these simple rules to help make the roadways safer:
Slow down and drive the speed limit
Don’t drive distracted
Don’t drive impaired
Follow directions from the signs, especially when entering construction zones
Buckle up
Both incidents are currently under investigation by the Louisiana State Police.