With numerous road improvement projects across the region, the Nevada Department of Transportation (NDOT) and Nevada Highway Patrol (NHP) are reminding motorists to drive safely in road work zones during National Work Zone Awareness Week, held March 23-27, and throughout the year.

“Sadly, there have been five construction work zone fatalities in Clark County during the last year, as well as 377 total injuries and 808 crashes,” said NDOT spokesman Tony Illia. “We encourage drivers to slow-down, buckle-up and focus on the road. Our ultimate goal is zero fatalities on our roadways.”

NDOT currently has several large scale construction projects occurring throughout the Las Vegas valley, including the $35.7 million, 4-mile-long widening of U.S. Highway 95 between Ann Road and Durango Drive. The department additionally breaks ground next month on the $83 million, 2.5-mile first phase of Interstate-11 between Silverline Road and Foothill Drive in Boulder City.

“NDOT and our transportation partners are here to provide safe and mobile transportation for Nevadans,” NDOT Director Rudy Malfabon said. “While workers are making road improvements to provide us all with a safer and smoother commute, we want to remind drivers to give them a ‘brake.’ That means slowing down and driving safely anytime you’re on the road, and particularly in road work zones.”

NDOT works to keep drivers and road workers safe by using protective barriers, warning signs, lower speed limits, lane closures and flaggers in certain work zones. Construction work is also often scheduled during nighttime and off-peak hours when practicable. Nevada law doubles the penalty for speeding, up to $1,000, in any marked road construction or maintenance work zone when workers are present.

Work zone driving tips and information on major NDOT road projects is available at www.nevadadot.com. Updates on current state road conditions are available by logging onto www.nvroads.com or calling ‘511’ before driving. National Work Zone Awareness Week is sponsored by the Federal Highway Administration to bring national attention to motorist and worker safety and mobility in work zones.

 Always buckle up and do not drive under the influence of drugs or alcohol, or while sleepy.
 Minimize distractions, and remember that handheld cellphone use is illegal while driving.
 Always slow to posted work zone speed limits and slow for and obey construction signs and flaggers.
 Don’t tailgate. Keep a safe distance from cars ahead, traffic barriers, construction equipment and workers.
 Watch for and follow all warning, lane/ramp closure and construction detour signs, and be prepared to change lanes or merge as directed by road signs or flaggers.
 Continue to pay attention to work zone signs, even in areas of long-term road work.
 Remain calm. Remember that work zones are not there to inconvenience you- they are necessary to improve the roadway and safely guide motorists through the area.
 Don’t resume normal driving speed until you see roadway signs indicating it is safe to do so.
 Plan ahead and give yourself time to reach your destination.