BELMONT COUNTY, Ohio (WTRF)

National Work Zone Awareness Week is for alerting drivers to pay special attention when they see those orange highway cones.

ODOT and the Ohio State Highway Patrol held an event Wednesday at the I-70 westbound rest area near Morristown to drive home the point.

Lauren Borell, ODOT public information officer, said there were 4,796 work zone crashes last year, resulting in 30 deaths.

In the same year, the Ohio State Highway Patrol issued more than 6,000 citations in work zones.

Officials say 41% of those citations were for speeding more than 20 miles per hour over the posted limit.

They say the top three causes of work zone collisions are following too closely, speeding and distracted driving.

They say last year, ODOT workers, vehicles and equipment were struck 154 times.

Lt. Maurice Waddell, OSHP Post Commander, said Ohio’s Move Over law requires drivers to move over for any vehicle with flashing lights, and if they can’t move into the next lane they must at least slow down.

He says that work zone infractions can come with expensive fines, which become even higher if someone is injured.

ODOT and OSHP remind us that there are many hard-working people out on the roads who deserve to return home safely to their loved ones at the end of their work shift.