WKAR: MI transportation advocates urge safety in road construction zones

WKAR, August 2, 2022

A leading Michigan construction trade association is launching a new campaign urging drivers to slow down in road construction zones.

The Michigan Infrastructure and Transportation Association (MITA), is placing billboards in select locations in Detroit, Flint, Grand Rapids and Lansing warning drivers to pay attention in construction zones.

The association cites a new report from the National Transportation Research Group that indicates traffic fatalities have risen 19% nationwide since 2019.

MITA executive vice-president Rob Coppersmith says the billboard campaign aims to get drivers to change their behavior as they approach a work zone.

“We try to humanize it a little bit so that a driver might look at a construction worker and give them the respect of, maybe not looking at their phone,” Coppersmith said. “Maybe slowing down a little bit. Maybe not getting frustrated at a traffic backup.”

Coppersmith says in the future the association hopes to model other states that have installed cameras in certain work zones.

“They see anywhere from a 78 to 80 percent drop in crashes when those cameras are deployed,” he added. “That’s why we’re pursuing that this fall with the legislature to see if we can get another tool in the toolbox.”

The campaign runs through the end of summer construction season.