Officials Try to Keep Road Workers Safe From Distracted Drivers

View Comments ()
|
Email
|
Print

    NEWSLETTERS

    Officials are concerned that distracted driving could endanger workers building the new express lanes on Interstate 95 in Virginia. They're launching a new safety campaign called "Orange Cones, No Phones." (Published Thursday, May 8, 2014)

    Officials are concerned that distracted drivers could endanger workers building the new Express Lanes on Interstate 95 in Virginia. That's why they're launching a new safety campaign called "Orange Cones, No Phones."

    The premise behind the campaign: If you see an orange cone, make sure that phone is put away. That means no talking, texting, or sending emails.

    Over the past four months, 291 people have died on the roads in Virginia. Of course, not all of those are connected to distracted driving. But officials say it's a big problem in the area.

    Road work crews will be out all summer long working to complete the Express Lanes project on I-95 by 2015. Officials want to make sure there are no accidents that could easily have been avoided.

    "We want drivers to remember that the choices they make as they travel the road affect everyone -- the drivers around you [and] the workers in the field, so we ask drivers to keep those phones down as they travel the 95 Express Lanes work zone," said Mike McGurk, a spokesperson for Transurban, which is building the Express Lanes in partnership with the Virginia Department of Transportation.

    Transportation officials say one of the more common scenarios they see is people responding to work emails while driving. They urge everyone to abstain from using phones on the roads.

    In Virginia, drivers can be pulled over and receive a $125 ticket for texting while driving.

    Follow NBCWashington for the latest anywhere, anytime: iPhone/iPad App | Facebook | Twitter | Google+ | Instagram | RSS | Text Alerts | Email Alerts