National Work Zone Awareness Week, TDOT encourages drivers to move over

National work zone awareness week
National work zone awareness week
Published: Apr. 11, 2022 at 7:07 PM EDT
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NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WSMV) -Traffic cones are taking on a much bigger message this week, as the Tennessee Department of Transportation aims to encourage drivers to do their part in protecting workers.

“We’ve lost 112 lives. That’s too many. One is too many,” said Joseph Galbato, TDOT Interim Deputy Commissioner / Chief Financial Officer.

As a part of National Work Zone Awareness Week, TDOT is reminding drivers to move over and slow down.

“We have 95 counties in Tennessee. On any given day you are going to have multiple lane closures, multiple road closures... We have thousands of people out there every day working. It is very important for them to move over,” explained Galbato.

According to TDOT, last year 26 people died in work zone crashes in Tennessee.

Sarah Tolentino remembers when her father, David Younger, died back in 2016.

“The 18-wheeler just came completely off of the road. The guys were changing a flat tire on the side of the interstate and my dad was the only one killed that day,” said Tolentino.

Today she is an advocate for the “Move Over Law,” and encourages drivers to do the same.

“I will do whatever I can to get this word out that we need to slow down and move over. I think a lot of people just think move over… well I can’t move over. Okay, you can’t? That’s fine, slow down then,” stated Tolentino.

It’s a message they hope people will take seriously while projects like pothole repairs continue through spring.

“You need to not be driving distracted, not be driving impaired. Certainly, slowing down in our work zones. If people just did what they are supposed to do, we would be safe and wouldn’t have to do things like this,” Galbato said.

To remember the 112 TDOT employees who lost their lives while on the job, TDOT currently has a display of cones outside of its main facility.

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