Every three days in the United States a teen driver is killed in work zone crashes. Teen drivers are not experienced enough to recognize the hazards of work zones. Whether you are the foreman for a road construction crew or a school administrator, it is crucial to educate new teen drivers before road work begins in a school zone and to ensure the property safety equipment and signage is used during road construction. Here's what you can do to keep teens in your community safe.
Educational Materials for Students
The Federal Highway Administration and the American Road & Transportation Builders Association have developed educational materials geared towards what new teen drivers face regarding work zones. These materials should be included in the driver's education curriculum in your school district. The materials include awareness posters, educational videos, and interactive computer programs that raise awareness of the dangers involved regarding work zones and how to react appropriately in various situations they may encounter.
Community Awareness of Road Construction Projects in School Zones
It's important to inform teen drivers, their parents, and other members of the community about projected and scheduled road construction in and near school zones. This can be done by posting to social media pages that cater to students and adults in the community. The school district can include the information of up-coming road construction work in their daily announcements to the student body. The local police department can also play a role in instilling awareness by being present in the student parking lots to hand out informational flyers with work zone safety tips for drivers.
Work Zone Equipment & Signage
Safety equipment, such as cones, barricades, message signs, and warning lights should be used and placed according to regulations and laws. Due to the larger number of teen drivers in and near the school zone of a high school building or campus, road construction foremen should consider going above and beyond by using more than the bare minimum of equipment and signs that are required. Once the equipment and signage are chosen for the project, the foremen can ask the school's driver's education teacher(s) to make sure the students fully understand how to follow the signage and equipment before work on the roadway starts.
Bringing awareness to the construction crew, the educators, the student body and their parents beforehand can, hopefully, prevent tragedy from occurring in the work zone.