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Highways for LIFE

ArrowWork Zone Safety Challenges and Successes

Presented by
Priscilla Tobias P.E.
State Safety Engineer
Division of Highways
Illinois Department of Transportation

PDF Version (700 kb)

Work Zone Fatalities

36 Fatalities31 Fatalities42 Fatalities38 Fatalities
1 worker1 worker5 workers2 workers
15 rear-end4 ped.'s13 rear-end5 ped.'s

Every District, all types of roadways and construction projects

The Task Group consisted of representatives of the labor trades, contractor organizations, and various state and federal transportation, enforcement, and safety related agencies.

Over forty recommendations from the Group.

Many have been implemented and some are ongoing.

3 Major Issues

  • Voluntary Compliance
  • Physical Worker Protection
  • Habitual Violator

Voluntary Compliance - General Motorist Awareness

  • $1 Million for Prime Time PSA's
  • Increased Public Information Campaigns
  • Drivers Education CD

Girl sitting at a microphone Workzone construction ad: Father and son. 'Me and my Daddy. Daddy was killed in aconstruction zone, Now, I'm alone. Please slow down Driver Education Work Zone Awareness Program ad

IDOT Has Revised

  • Policy
  • Specifications
  • Standards

Different Focus with worker safety in mind

Voluntary Compliance

  • Enhanced Motorist Communication
    • Improve Traffic Control Standards
    • Uniform and Consistent Work Zones

Sign: Hit a worker $10,000 fine, 14 yrs jail Sign: work zone, speed limit 55 begins, $375 fine minimum Sign: work zone, speed limit 45 begins, $375 fine minimum Sign: work zone, speed limit 55 resumes, $375 fine minimum Sign: End work zone speed limit

People in a meeting

  • Expanded Cooperation Among Agencies
    • Increase Law Enforcement Coordination in Projects

Enhanced Motorist Communication

Real Time Information

Speed Indicator Signs

Speed Indicator Sign

Changeable Message Boards

  • Portable CMS
  • Permanent CMS
  • Active warnings
  • Time Delay Information

Changeable Message Board

Proposed Legislative Changes

  • Clarify and Strengthen Existing Laws
  • Increase Penalties
  • Photo Enforcement

Photo Enforcement

Photo enforcement equipment Photo enforcement equipment

Ticket from photo enforcement equipment. The system will provide a clear picture of the driver and front and rear license plate and then a few days later the driver will receive a ticket in the mail.

Physical Worker Protection

Focus: Minimize Exposure to Workers

Work zone

Better Flagger Protection and Visibility

Remote Flagger Device

remote flagger device remote flagger device

remote flagger device
remote flagger device

  • High Visibility Vests
    • Daytime: ANSI Class 2
    • Nighttime: ANSI Class 3
    • All workers
  • Nighttime Illumination

High Visibility Vest Night Construction

Example of ANSI Class 3 garment and lighted flagger station.

Example of why all employees should wear vest. Worker on right side of barricades has a vest on. There is a worker on the left side of the barricade beside the other worker without a vest.

Habitual Violator

  • Problem Driver
  • Drunk
  • Suspended
  • Aggressive

More Information



Scott Wolf
Center for Accelerating Innovation

PDF files can be viewed with the Acrobat® Reader®
Updated: 04/04/2011

United States Department of Transportation - Federal Highway Administration