Work Zone Safety Hero

Work Zone Safety

Roads need to be repaired on a regular basis. Activities like pot-hole patching, catch basin cleaning, street sweeping, vegetation management and mowing, guiderail repairs, pavement installation, pavement markings, all can impact traffic. Keeping our roadways safe means work zones are a part of life to protect the workers performing those activities. Work Zones can last for weeks or just hours. They can stretch for a few hundred yards or several miles. They can be active day or night, any time of the year. And there are always people and construction equipment right alongside normal lanes of travel. Whether a driver, passenger, cyclist, motorcyclist or pedestrian, it’s your responsibility to recognize work zones and change your behavior.
Why Obey The Orange - Traffic cones in a work zone

Why Obey the Orange?

Work zones present a new and unexpected situation for motorists. They can involve lane closures, detours and new traffic patterns. Hazards can appear suddenly and unexpectedly, reducing your reaction time behind the wheel. Slowing down, creating space between you and the car ahead and paying extra close attention when you see construction or maintenance crews ahead of you can prevent crashes and save lives
sights and sound - night time work zone trucks

Sights and Sounds

Work zones are busy, noisy areas with people and equipment moving around. It can be challenging to see and be aware of everything that is happening – especially at night. Often, construction equipment and new traffic patterns can make it harder to see the road ahead of you. Loud, unexpected noises can break your concentration, too.
backups - traffic cone with lights in a work zone


In a work zone, changes in traffic patterns and closed or narrowed travel lanes force drivers to merge into a smaller space, leading to congestion and backups. Vehicles ahead of you can slow or stop unexpectedly well ahead of a work zone.

Driving Safely in a Work Zone – What YOU can do

Look for the Signs

When approaching a work zone, you’ll see bright, reflective cones, barrels, and signs, large vehicles, and workers in bright, reflective vests to warn you of the hazard and direct you where to go safely. All temporary signs in work zones have an orange background and black letters or symbols and tell you what to do, how soon you will encounter the work zone and the speed limit through the work zone. These “Advanced warning signs” are important to pay attention to and follow. 

Slow Down!

Reduce your speed as soon as you see the orange signs and equipment. On Connecticut Highways, reduced speed limits will be posted, but slow down on any road whether or not you see posted reduced speed limits. 
Speeding is one of the major causes of work zone crashes and fatalities. Reducing your speed allows you to respond quickly to the unexpected. Remember – in Connecticut, speeding fines are doubled in work zones!

Respect the Zone

Work zones are not there to inconvenience you unnecessarily. Remember, they are the only protective measures available to create a boundary between crews and drivers. They’re a necessary part of our transportation system, and crew members are working to improve the roadways you use every day. Be patient and respect the workers.

Keep a Safe Distance

Drive safely by keeping at least 3 car-lengths distance between you and the car ahead of you. You can control your driving and your car, but not other drivers’ and their cars. More distance means you have more time to react to changes. Most rear-end accidents occur because of following too closely and traveling too fast for conditions.

Stay Alert

There’s a lot to look at in a work zone, but dedicate your full attention to the roadway and avoid distraction while approaching and traveling through them. Remember, people and equipment can appear suddenly right alongside your path of travel.

Expect the Unexpected

Changes can take place overnight on the routes you travel every day. Normal speed limits may be reduced, traffic lanes and sidewalks may be closed, narrowed or shifted and people may be working on or near the road. Assume changes will happen and slow down.

Follow Instructions

The traffic control personnel are trained to know what is best for moving all road users safely through the work zone. Follow their instructions, always.

Don’t Stop

Slow down, but don’t stop unless instructed to do so by a sign, worker, flagger or Police Officer. Stopping suddenly can confuse other drivers and lead to rear-end collisions. 

Know Before You Go

Check radio, TV and websites for traffic information. Avoid work zones if you can or allow extra time to reach your destination safely. Learn to expect delays.

Current Projects

Know the Zone

There are signs at the beginning AND end of work zones. Reduce your speed before you enter the zone and do not return to normal speeds until you see the “End Road Work”  signs

Wear Your Seatbelt

Wearing your seatbelt is your best defense in a crash, and it’s the law.
Penalties - Police lights - Work Zone Safety


In Connecticut, any motorist that is caught speeding in a work zone can be issued an infraction with fines up to $150 or more. There are additional penalties and fines for driving distracted, reckless driving or driving under the influence of alcohol, cannabis or drugs.