ODOT District 11 is encouraging drivers to slow down and pay attention ahead of construction season. (Photo by Stacey Carmany, Tusco TV)

New Philadelphia, Ohio (WJER) - The Ohio Department Of Transportation is telling drivers that safer roads save lives in an effort to protect those working out there. 

ODOT District 11 held a press conference Thursday behind their New Philadelphia headquarters amid Work Zone Safety Awareness Week. The event featured several advocates giving advice and reminders including Laborers-Employers Cooperation Education Trust Director Bethany Billi. She urged drivers to pay attention to their surroundings.

“So when they do see the orange barrels, they need to slow down, obey the traffic laws, put your phones down,” she said. “It’s the most important issue that our workers face every day is that they want to come home to their families, so that’s what we’re really trying to promote here.”

Linda Grace Cook spoke about her life mission following the death of her husband Steve in 2017. He was killed working in a construction zone on I-70 east of Columbus.
“My goal in life is to keep Steve’s legacy alive, and if that requires interviews and speeches for the safety and awareness for highway construction workers, then that’s what I will continue to do,” she said.

State troopers, firefighters, the Tuscarawas County Commissioners and other agency representatives were all in attendance for the event.    

ODOT recorded 4,662 crashes in work zones last year. 


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