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VDOT kicks off work zone safety campaign this week

More than 800 people died on Virginia's roadways in 2017

ROANOKE, Va. – This year Gov. Ralph Northam designated April in Virginia as highway safety month.

In 2017, more than 800 people died on Virginia's roadways.

This is a 20 percent increase over the commonwealth's low of 700 highway deaths in 2014.

This week, the Virginia Department of Transportation will kick off its work zone safety awareness campaign.

Virginia recorded 26,000 crashes which resulted in more than 200 deaths, all of which stemmed from some type of distracted driving.

James Atkinson, who runs his own delivery company, works with trucks and semitrailers for a living.

“Night work is especially dangerous, because of lighting and drivers are not paying attention,” Atkinson said.

Spokesperson Jen Ward of VDOT said this year’s theme is, ‘Work zone's safety for workers and drivers is everyone's responsibility.’

“The crews inside those work zones are trying to get home at the end of the day just like you, and speeding is not as important as your life or theirs,” Ward said.

 VDOT said these safety precautions are even more important as the work season continues to grow.