NASHVILLE — The Tennessee Department of Transportation is urging motorists to "drive like you work with us" as TDOT and other states kick off National Work Zone Awareness Week.
The reminder to drivers to "move over and slow down" when they see workers at interstate and highway construction sites begins today and runs through Friday with TDOT emphasizing it on interstate digital message boards and other signage.
But TDOT also plans to post the "Work with Us – Move Over, Slow Down" signs at work zones across the state this year.
"2016 was a tragic year for our TDOT family as three of our employees were struck and killed by passing motorists," TDOT Commissioner Clay Bright said in a news release. "Hundreds of TDOT employees are working on our highways each day. We need motorists to work with us by moving over and slowing down for TDOT workers or first responders working along our interstates and state routes."
Bright urged motorists to "Drive like you work here, pay attention to signs, reduce your speed, and move over when possible."
Work zone safety messages will be displayed on TDOT's overhead Dynamic Message Signs on interstates in Memphis, Nashville, Chattanooga and Knoxville. There will also be special displays across the state to honor the 112 TDOT workers lost in the line of duty since 1948.
In Chattanooga, the message sign will be at I-75 Exit 9.
Wednesday is is "wear orange day" is asking Tennesseans to show their support for National Work Zone Awareness by wearing orange.
Spring and summer months are when many highway work gets underway. Work zones include everything from major interstate widening projects to pothole patching and mowing.
TDOT cautions that motorists can expect to encounter work zones across the state in downtowns, along interstates and in rural areas.
Last year in Tennessee, 20 people died in work zone crashes, including workers, drivers and passengers.
The department says Tennesseans can follow along on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram as TDOT posts photos, info graphics and videos to broaden awareness of driving safely and avoiding distractions, especially through work zones.