The California Department of Transportation will hold a Press Conference to pay tribute
to employees who have lost their lives in the line of duty since 1924. This press conference will be held, Tuesday, April 18, 2006 in front of the Bakersfield Maintenance Station (near the flag pole) located at 1226 Olive Drive, Bakersfield at 10:30 a.m.
The ceremony will feature 166 cones draped with black bands and orange ribbons. Each cone represents the life of a Caltrans highway worker who has lost their life in the line of duty. Speakers for this event will include Steve Fuller, Manager, Caltrans Maintenance Services; Bakersfield California Highway Patrol; as well as a true testimonial story from a current Caltrans Maintenance Worker.
The Highway Worker Memorial Ceremony, will be held as part of National Work Zone Safety Week, and will highlight the “Slow for the Cone Zone” Campaign. This campaign is a public awareness effort that warns California motorists of the hazards associated with driving recklessly through California's Highway Work Zones. Since its inception, the number of collisions in construction and other improvement zones on California State Highways has consistently decreased, year after year.
Caltrans credits its “Slow for the Cone Zone” public awareness campaign for helping to lower California’s work zone fatalities. This campaign is designed to make drivers cognizant of workers in work zones and encourages motorists to ease off the gas pedal as they drive through a work zone.
“It is reasonable to think that our message is getting through,” said Caltrans Director, Will Kempton. “This is good news for highway workers, however, it represents not an end, but a beginning to our efforts.”
During this year’s National Work Zone Awareness Week, the Federal Highway Administration is employing the theme, “Working at the Speed of Night” to emphasize both the benefits and the dangers of night construction and maintenance work. Caltrans often schedules night work as a way of decreasing the amount of traffic congestion that highway improvement work can cause. Traffic volumes are lower at night, but the danger to highway workers and motorists traveling in work zones remains high after the sun goes down.
Work Zone Safety Tips
The California Department of Transportation wants you to return home safely to your family. The following tips are to help you stay safe while traveling through maintenance and construction work zones. Motorists can make trips a little safer by remembering the following work zone safety tips:
- Do not speed in work zones; obey the posted speed limits.
- Stay Alert! Expect the unexpected.
- Watch for workers; drive with caution.
- Don't change lanes unnecessarily.
- Avoid using mobile phones while driving in work zones.
- Turn on headlights so that workers and other drivers can see you.
- Be especially alert at night while driving in work zones.
- Expect delays, especially during peak travel times.
- Allow ample space between you and the car in front of you.
- Anticipate lane shifts, and merge when directed to do so.
- Be Patient!