DENVER (KDVR) – The Colorado Department of Transportation held a somber ceremony on Wednesday during National Work Zone Awareness Week to honor its members that are no longer here.

Representatives from CDOT, the Colorado State Patrol, the Federal Highway Administration and Colorado Contractors Association all gathered to remember the 62 CDOT employees that have fallen in the line of duty since 1929.

“With the highway construction season set to move into high gear, this is our opportunity to remember our fallen workers and highlight the need for safe driving throughout the state, not just in work zones, but along all of our roadways,” said CDOT Executive Director Shoshana Lew.

In 2021, Colorado recorded 12 crashes which resulted in 12 deaths.

“People often forget that the men and women working in work zones are part of someone’s family and they should drive through them as if that worker was a member of your family or a friend,” said Lew.

National Work Zone Awareness Week’s 2022 theme:

  • “Work Zones are a sign to slow down”

Throughout all of 2019, there were 842 people killed in work zones across the country.

“Lives are changed forever when these crashes happen, for the victim and for the driver. Stay alert and slow down. Treat these zones like your life depends on it,” stated Col. Matthew Packard, Chief of the CSP.

According to CDOT, 80% of all victims of work zone accidents were motorists, rather than highway employees.

Annually, between 175 and 200 state highway and interstate projects are conducted by CDOT, and to keep those both in the work zones and those driving passed you should adopt these habits when near one:

●  Do not speed in work zones. Obey the posted speed limits. 

●  Stay Alert! Expect the unexpected. 

●  Watch for workers. Drive with caution. 

●  Don’t change lanes unnecessarily. 

●  Avoid using mobile devices such as phones while driving in work zones. 

●  Turn on headlights so that workers and other drivers can see you. 

●  Be especially alert at night while driving in work zones. 

●  Expect delays, especially during peak travel times. 

●  Allow ample space between you and the car in front of you. 

●  Anticipate lane shifts and merge when directed to do so. 

●  Be patient!