Commissioner Kilpatrick: “Please, pay attention out there on the roads.”

So much can happen in an instant. That’s all it takes to become distracted, drift off in thought, lose focus. Work Zone Awareness Week is a time when we reflect on the consequences related to taking your eyes off the road for just a few seconds. If you need a reminder of just how important it is to stay focused behind the wheel, all you have to do is visit the VDOT Workers’ Memorial, located on Afton Mountain in Albemarle County. Maybe you’ve seen it as you driven past on Interstate 64. We were there Wednesday evening around sunset, to honor the memory of those we have lost while performing their jobs. 133 names are carved in stone there, and those names all have a story to tell. A story of a life taken away too soon, a life stolen from  family, friends and colleagues. Distracted driving in work zones doesn’t only affect us. Four out of five fatalities in work zone crashes are you, the motorists. We often hear the word “accident” when we discuss these crashes. Our friends at the Virginia State Police don’t like this, because the word accident conveys that no one is at fault. But make no mistake, if you are driving while engaging in unsafe behavior, you are making a conscious decision. That’s not accidental. Please, pay attention out there on the roads. Watch out for our men and women in work zones, and our safety partners and emergency responders who are working on the side of the road to keep you safe. We are just like you, with a job to do and people who care whether we come home safely at the end of each day. Thank you and stay safe out there. Sincerely, Charlie Kilpatrick VDOT Commissioner

Filed Under: Distracted Driving