MSP and MDOT partner to increase work zone enforcement and awareness to work zone safety

Agency: Transportation

Sgt. Joseph Rowley, Michigan State Police 989-329-8339, RowleyJ@Michigan.gov
Jocelyn Hall, MDOT Office of Communications, 989-245-7117, HallJ20@Michigan.gov

Fast facts:
- MSP and MDOT are partnering to improve work zone safety by increasing enforcement in major work zones.
- Approximately 3,900 crashes occurred in work zones in 2020, resulting in 14 fatalities.
- Drivers should expect additional patrols in Saginaw County and Genesee County work zones as MSP works to improve safety for road workers.

April 27, 2021 -- As orange barrels continue popping up across mid-Michigan, the Michigan Department of Transportation (MDOT) and Michigan State Police (MSP) are partnering to ensure work zones remain as safe as possible. National Work Zone Awareness Week (NWZAW) is an opportunity to remind drivers of the risks associated with distracted driving and speeding through work zones.

While the annual awareness event has been recognized for more than 20 years, work zone crashes, injuries, and fatalities continue to haunt road workers. Traffic volumes trended down through much of 2020, but preliminary data indicates there were still more than 3,900 crashes in work zones, with 14 fatalities. To bring additional awareness to the seriousness of responsible driving through work zones, MSP is partnering with MDOT to increase enforcement through work zones.

"We know the best resource to improve safety for drivers and road workers alike is to ensure everyone is abiding by the posted speed limits in work zones, and eliminating distractions while they drive," said MSP Sgt. Joseph Rowley. "Our troopers have been patrolling these construction sites for the past few weeks, and we plan to increase the number of units patrolling this coming week." 

MSP troopers regularly conduct enforcement through all MDOT work zones. In an effort to further improve the safety of several major work sites, MSP intends to double their enforcement efforts in the I-75 work zone in Saginaw County, and the I-75/US-23 and I-69/I-475 work zones in Genesee County.

"Crews have been back out on I-75 in Saginaw County for over a month," said MDOT Construction Engineer Brian Ulman. "With lane closures and traffic shifts in place now, we really need to see drivers start to obey the posted speed limit and put an emphasis on safe driving practices. The number of speeding vehicles and crashes occurring just since work started back up is very concerning."

Michigan will host this year's annual NWZAW campaign, with a live stream media event scheduled for Tuesday, April 27, at https://livestream.com/mdot/2021nwzawkickoff. More information about this year's NWZAW efforts is available.