RALEIGH, N.C. — North Carolina’s Work Zone Awareness Week is officially underway.


What You Need To Know


State transportation, safety and law enforcement officials gathered Tuesday in Northhampton County to kick off the week and unveil a traveling memorial honoring those killed in work zones across the country.

The National Work Zone Memorial includes 37 N.C. Department of Transportation workers who have died in work zones across the state since 1979.

“Every day, our employees risk their lives in work zones to improve North Carolina’s transportation network,” said Deputy Secretary for Intergovernmental Affairs Johanna Reese of the NCDOT.  “We implore you, on behalf of all our NCDOT workers and contractors, our first responders, and your fellow motorists – to please slow down, buckle up and do not drive distracted.” 

In 2021, officials say over 6,200 crashes took place in North Carolina work zones. During those crashes, 29 people died and over 2,500 were injured.

Highway safety officials remind drivers to use extra caution, reduce speed and limit distractions while traveling through work zones. In a release, they said these areas “can feature obstacles that make them tricky to navigate, and often require more driver attention.”

“We must call attention to these simple actions - slowing down, buckling up and paying attention - that we can all take to prevent tragic outcomes in work zones,” echoed Mark Ezzell, Director of the N.C. Governor’s Highway Safety Program. “We all have a part to play.”

Data from 2021 also showed 79% of crashes occurred on clear days, 85% happened during dry road conditions and 74% took place during daylight hours.

Officials say it also takes less than a minute longer to travel through a two-mile work zone at 45 mph than at 65 mph, according to last year’s data.

NCDOT says the National Work Zone Memorial will be on display at the Northhampton County Welcome Center on I-95 South April 5-7. North Carolina’s Work Zone Awareness Week takes place April 4-8.