SIKESTON -The Missouri Department of Transportation will celebrate National Work Zone Awareness Week from April 23-27. To celebrate this week, the Southeast District has planned interactive activities to emphasize the importance of work zone safety.
"In 2011, 701 people were injured in Missouri work zones, compared to 1,036 in 2010," said District Engineer Mark Shelton. "We want to make sure this progress continues. Our goal is to educate the public, as well as our employees and contractors, to ensure everyone gets home safe at the end of each day."
To celebrate the week, the Southeast District will hold its "Where in the District is Barrel Bob?" contest. Barrel Bob is a 10-foot-tall man made of orange construction barrels. Each day he will appear in various locations throughout the 25-county district. Photos of Bob will be posted to both Facebook and Twitter. The first person to correctly identify Bob's location will receive a prize.
Additionally, the Southeast District will hold its first "Orange Out" on Wednesday, April 25.
"We are encouraging all of our employees to sport orange on Wednesday to join in the celebration, but we would also like to enlist the help of the public," said Shelton.
Participants are encouraged to submit photos of themselves or family members wearing orange for the district's Work Zone Awareness Wall of Fame on Flickr. Photos may be submitted to firstname.lastname@example.org.
"Work Zone Awareness Week is not only a time to remind drivers of the importance of slowing down and paying attention in work zones," said Shelton. "It is also a great opportunity for MoDOT to receive feedback about our work zones."
The department is asking the public to grade its work zones in various focus areas, such as signage and delays, by filling out a short online form. The form is available at http://www.modot.org/.
The final component of the celebration is a public service announcement highlighting the dangers of distracted driving.
Shelton explained inattention was the top contributing factor in work zone crashes in 2011, which is why it is the primary focus of the new public service announcement.
The 30-second video is available on the district's YouTube channel at www.youtube.com/MoDOTSoutheast.
To get involved, visit www.modot.org/southeast and click on the Facebook or Twitter icons at the top of the page. If you already follow the Southeast District on Facebook or Twitter, continue to check those pages for upcoming announcements about Work Zone Awareness Week. For more information, please contact the MoDOT Customer Service Center at 1-888-ASK-MoDOT (275-6636) or visit www.modot.org/southeast.