Quad-City bridges light up orange for National Road Safety Week | Local News

As the spring and summer construction season begins, local leaders want motorists to make work zone safety a priority.

In recognition of National Traffic Safety Week and Work Zone Awareness Week April 11-15, local towns and the Rock Island County Council have issued proclamations encouraging the public to slow down, obey the rules and drive safely in roadwork areas.

To raise public awareness, the new Interstate 74 bridge, Davenport Skybridge and Muscatine Bridge will be lit in orange, the national color of safety. Mike Bartels, director of public works for Rock Island, said the approach lights on the Illinois side of the Centennial Bridge will also be illuminated orange starting Tuesday night and continuing through the rest of the week.

Bettendorf City Administrator Decker Ploehn said the I-74 bridge will be illuminated orange Wednesday night.

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Jeff Deppe, secretary and treasurer of Labor Local 309 and member of the Rock Island County Board of Directors, encourages everyone to do their part to make road safety a priority by slowing down in work zones and staying safe. moving for emergency vehicles.

“We’re reminding everyone again this year to be careful and slow down,” Deppe said. “The maintenance demands of our nation’s crumbling infrastructure, combined with increased speeding and distracted driving, are creating increasingly hazardous conditions in roadwork zones.

“When vehicles are moving faster, the chances of escaping a work area intrusion alive decrease significantly,” Deppe said. “At 42 mph, only 50% of pedestrians survive the impact. A combination of increased speed and distracted driving gives motorists much less time to react and workers less time to get away with their lives.”

According to workzonesafety.org, there were 156 pedestrian fatalities in work zones in 2020, information for the most recent year is available. Also in 2020, there were 102,000 work area accidents, 44,000 work area injuries, 857 fatalities, and 244 additional fatalities involving commercial motor vehicles.

Deppe said motorists should remember that when they “see cones, no phone. Keep your hands free.”

“There is never a need to speed up in a construction zone,” he said. “Fines for speeding in construction zones are $375 for the first offense.”

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