West Virginia Headlines

Governor Justice orders additional road safety actions after fatal construction zone crashes

CHARLESTON, W.Va. (WTRF) - After several fatal crashes, West Virginia is redoubling its ongoing campaign urging drivers to travel safely through the growing ranks of highway construction projects.

On Wednesday, Governor Jim Justice spoke about how he, the Department of Transportation, and WV State Police have cautioned drivers to be mindful of work zone safety and avoid distracted driving.

Governor Justice said that that message must now be amplified after several deaths occurred along I-64 in Putnam County.

“We’re taking additional action to make sure that this construction will be completed in a safe manner and in a way that will benefit the public,” Governor Justice said in a press release.

Transportation Secretary Tom Smith and State Police Superintendent Jan Cahill were directed to go above and beyond the relevant federal and national safety standards whenever possible while focusing on enforcement.

“We need to do more,” Governor Justice said. “Our hearts go out to the families involved in these tragic accidents along the interstate. I have instructed Secretary Smith and Colonel Cahill to immediately look at what steps they can take to make sure we are doing everything we possibly can to make our interstates and work zones safe for all motorists as well as those working on the job sites.”

More construction workers have been along West Virginia's bridges and highways while working on routine maintenance and paving.

According to the press release, thousands more will begin soon on the array of improvement and constructions projects funded through Governor Justice's successful Roads to Prosperity bond initiative.

“We’ve had emergency meetings with the State Police throughout the day, and are taking immediate action,” Secretary Smith said.

“We have heard what Governor Justice has said, and we too pray for the families of those involved.”

A plan of action has been outlined that includes assigning additional troopers to construction areas and enhancing safety warnings and signage.


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