RICHMOND, Va. (NEWSPLEX) -- This week is National Work Zone Awareness Week, and the Virginia Department of Transportation wants to remind drivers to pay attention and watch for members of work crews.
VDOT says there are hundreds of active work zones across the Commonwealth every spring.
"When you approach a highway work zone, you're seeing Virginia's investment in our future," said Transportation Secretary Aubrey L. Layne, Jr. "Construction and maintenance of our roads and bridges benefits all of us. Driving without distractions helps ensure that you reach your destination safely, and that VDOT's crews and contractors make it home to their loved ones."
According to a release, there were more than 2,400 work zone crashes in 2016, which resulted in 1,170 injuries and ten fatalities.
This year, VDOT is working with the Virginia Transportation Research Council to enhance the visibility of work zones, including temporary portable rumble strips and flagger paddles with flashing LED lights.
VDOT has several tips that will help keep drivers safe in and near work zones.
First, drivers should keep an eye out for workers and slow-moving equipment, and they should follow any signs and flaggers that are directing them through the zone.
Changes in signs will appear, altering traffic patterns as work progresses.
Drivers should avoid tailgating because of frequent stops in work zones, and speeding through such a zone may result in fines of up to $500.
While in a work zone, drivers should stay in one lane and be patient.
In order to mark Work Zone Awareness Week, VDOT will be holding a series of events.
On Tuesday, there will be a public vigil at the VDOT Workers' Memorial at mile marker 103 on Interstate 64 eastbound in Albemarle County.
Then the Virginia executive mansion will go orange on Wednesday to show support for work zone safety