LEXINGTON, Ky. (FOX 56) – As the summer travel season approaches, there will be a lot more cars on the road navigating through work zones throughout the Commonwealth. Road construction workers that spoke off-camera with FOX 56 said it is very dangerous work. As the temperatures continue to go up, drivers can expect a lot more caution cones going up too.
“It’s potentially hazardous work,” Chuck Wolfe with the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet told FOX 56. Road work zones can be found year-round but Wolfe said around this time each year is considered the kickoff to construction season.
“When spring comes that’s when the activity really starts picking up because most of your resurfacing projects are done during your warm-weather months,” he said.
Transportation Cabinet data shows a steady rise in work-zone crashes over the years. Wolfe said technological advances in phones, cars, and other devices have also increased distractions on the road.
“The work zones will come in all shapes and sizes but the advice to drivers is always the same – when you approach them slow down, be alert, don’t let yourself be distracted,” he said.
Wolfe said despite the risk to workers, the majority of work zone accident deaths happen to drivers and passengers, and most of the accidents were in broad daylight. The workers that talked to FOX 56 said they have to follow strict guidelines to just be able to work on road sites and go through rigorous training that includes courses in flagging, traffic control, and CPR. They said shifting cones likely causes the biggest confusion to drivers.
“Don’t take anything for granted. That work zone if you went through it yesterday it might have changed overnight,” Wolfe said. Fines are doubled in Kentucky for any road violation that occurs in a work zone.