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LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- Kentucky Transportation Cabinet officials said around a dozen people have been killed, and nearly 500 injured on the roads in Kentucky over the past three years.
They say these accidents involve people just trying to do their jobs in road construction areas. KYTC officials say they are making a push to keep drivers safe.
To many, it's the sound of a delay and the look of someone getting in your way while trying to get to where you are going. Those people may appear to be obstacles, but the ones in hard hats and bright vests are actually working to make things easier for you.
Seven Seas Construction Foreman Kevin Vincent said they are caught in between every day.
"There's people out there that cross these lanes and cut off other people, and when they do that, that car may veer over the median where we're working," said Vincent. "That car could take one of us out."
Andrea Clifford, a Public Information Officer for KYTC said workers like Vincent are put in a lot of danger with all of these cars zipping past. She said statistics show that a person behind the wheel has usually been the one who ended up getting hurt.
"Eighty five percent of the injuries that occur due to work zone crashes are injuries to the motorists that are driving through the work zone, not just the contractors or state employees that are out doing the repairs," Clifford said.
"The majority of the injuries and the fatalities that do occur are to the motorists that are involved in these crashes when they are driving through a work zone."
Clifford said they want drivers to slow down, pay attention and read the signs during National Work Zone Safety Week, which takes place Apr. 15 – 19.
She said the signs are there for a reason.
"Some people feel like, 'Oh, I have seen that sign before, but maybe one day you're coming through a work zone and the right lane is closed and then another day the left lane could be closed."
She said they want distracted drivers to change their habits and their attitudes.
"Stop talking on the cell phone, eating fiddling with your radio," said Clifford. "Pay attention to what is going on around you."
She said they still want people to realize there are people who put their lives on the line just to repair roads for the motoring public.
"We want people to realize these are human beings out here, not just a yellow vest and a hard hat."
She said it is all for the benefit of those trying to get around. Vincent said they have the same responsibilities as everyone else.
"Slow down," he said. "We want to go home every day to our families as well."
Per the Web site, the cabinet asks motorists to practice 10 work zone safety tips:
1. Expect the unexpected.
2. Slow down.
3. Don't tailgate. Keep a safe distance between vehicles.
4. Keep a safe distance from workers and equipment.
5. Pay attention to signs.
6. Obey road crew flaggers.
7. Stay alert and minimize distractions.
8. Keep up with the traffic flow.
9. Schedule enough time and call 511 or go to www.511.ky.gov for Kentucky traffic and travel information.
10. Be patient and stay calm.
Clifford said there will be a variety of construction projects going on. Some are underway right now, including concrete pavement repairs and grinding repairs between Browns Lane and Westport Road at I-264 Watterson Expressway, as well as concrete pavement repairs and diamond grinding between KY 146 (La Grange Road) and I-71 at I-265/KY 841.