The American Road & Transportation Builders Association’s Transportation Development Foundation (ARTBA-TDF) recognized 10 public and private organizations for their commitment to promoting safety during the association’s 14th annual “Roadway Work Zone Safety Awareness Awards” held during a September 12 luncheon at ARTBA’s National Convention in Memphis, Tenn.
The competition recognizes outstanding programs, campaigns and technologies aimed at helping reduce roadway work zone accidents, injuries and fatalities. Winners were announced in three categories:
Outreach Campaigns: Recognizes efforts that promote roadway work zone safety through implementation of employee and/or public education campaigns on a national, state or local level.
Training Programs: Honors state and local educational programs that promote worker safety on the job site.
Innovations in Technology: Recognizes the import role that technology plays in improving safety in and around work zones with innovative products and methodologies or innovative applications to existing products and methodologies.
Outreach Campaign/National Level – First Place
DBi Services, LLC: “National Work Zone Safety Week Billboard & High School Outreach Program”
During National Work Zone Safety Awareness Week in April, DBi Services sponsored a series of billboard ads to remind the motoring public of the importance of driving cautiously in work zones and about the need to work toward “Zero Deaths” on the nation’s roadways. The billboards appeared along stretches of highway in Florida and Virginia that had the potential to reach 75,000 motorists per day. DBi employees also distributed over 1,500 work zone safety “fact sheets” at rest areas near construction sites. In an effort to educate new drivers on the need to drive cautiously in work zones, the company also distributed literature to 180 high schools located near projects in both states, reaching over 20,000 students.
Outreach Campaign/State Level – First Place
Missouri Department of Transportation: “Barrel Bob, Missouri’s
Spokesbarrel for Work Zone Safety”
The “Barrel Bob” outreach program is the Missouri DOT’s effort to improve work zone safety by engaging motorists’ imaginations. The 11-foot, plastic mascot, made of orange construction barrels, visits work zones where he points to message boards, reminding drivers to pay attention, mind their speed and drive defensively. After appearing at a construction project along Missouri’s I-435 in Kansas City, the near daily crashes and near-misses in the work zone were significantly reduced. With almost 5,000 followers on Facebook, “Barrel Bob” also uses social media to spread his safety message and engage the public by facilitating comments and sharing stories on the Internet.
Outreach Campaign/State Level – Second Place
Texas Department of Transporation (TxDOT): “Safety: Mission Zero Campaign”
TxDOT recently implemented a multi-faceted campaign called “Mission Zero” to promote work zone safety among both construction crews and the motoring public. In partnership with the AGC of Central Texas, the department created a “Safe Worker Awareness” video to raise awareness and train state field workers and contractors on best. They also coordinated a statewide media and public education campaign with all 25 of its districts in observance of National Work Zone Safety Awareness Week. It included podcasts, social media outreach, a work zone fair and press conferences with elected officials resulting in nearly three million media impressions. Finally, to support their outreach efforts, TxDOT made several improvements to its work zone equipment and internal procedures, such as using enhanced personal protective equipment with greater visibility, designating spotters, creating “work free zones” and providing hand-held portable radios to promote greater communication.