BOISE – With the return of warm temperatures, work zones and construction zones are popping up on roads across the Gem State.  AAA is supporting the Idaho Transportation Department’s emphasis on work zone safety.

“Monday marks the beginning of National Work Zone Awareness Week.  As the weather gets better, speeds start picking up, which makes the roads riskier for everyone,” says AAA Idaho public affairs director Matthew Conde.  “Work zones are dynamic places, and we need alert drivers who can safely navigate them and ensure that everyone makes it home to their families at the end of the day.”

AAA’s work zone safety tips

  • Watch for unusual traffic patterns, vehicles and heavy equipment entering and exiting the road, barrels, cones, and of course, flaggers and other construction personnel.  Conditions may change over the life of the project – at times, you may even be re-routed into travel lanes that would normally be occupied by oncoming traffic.
  • Expect abrupt lane edges, bumps, and rougher road surfaces.
  • Observe posted speed limits, and pay close attention to temporary signage.  Don’t blindly follow your GPS in a work zone.
  • Ditch the distractions, and actively scan the road to increase your reaction time.

“In work zones, there are usually plenty of bright markers and perhaps some barriers to help protect workers.  Tow truck technicians and other first responders are also in temporary work zones at the roadside, and they also need space to safely do their job,” Conde said.  “Idaho’s Slow Down, Move Over law requires drivers approaching a stationary emergency vehicle with flashing lights to slow down below the speed limit and, if possible, move over at least one lane to give workers some extra room.  When roadside workers feel safe, projects are completed faster, which is good for everyone.”