CHARLESTON, WV – The Public Service Commission of West Virginia, along with the West Virginia Department of Transportation and officials from other law enforcement agencies around the state today gathered to recognize National Work Zone Awareness Week. The group collectively announced a statewide joint effort to increase patrols and enforcement in road work construction zones across West Virginia during the upcoming 2022 highway construction season. Law enforcement officers, including PSC officers, will be targeting work zones on Interstate 70, Interstate 68, Interstate 64, Interstate 77, Interstate 79 and Interstate 81. The effort follows a tragic increase in accidents and fatalities in work zones over the past several years.
Nationally, commercial motor vehicles are involved in more than 30% of fatal work zone crashes on urban interstates and more than 50% of fatal work zone crashes on rural interstates, according to data from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. In West Virginia there were 18 fatal crashes in West Virginia work zones from 2018 to 2020. Ten of those fatal crashes involved trucks. There were only 15 fatal crashes in the entire seven year period preceding 2018, three of those crashes involved trucks.
“Any fatality in a work zone crash is a preventable tragedy,” said PSC Chairman Charlotte Lane. Our officers will be out there every day patrolling the work zones, watching for unsafe drivers, particularly those traveling at excessive speeds. We will do everything in our power to make our highways and our work zones safe for the traveling public and those working to repair our roads.”