AMARILLO, Texas (KAMR/KCIT) – The Amarillo District of the Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT) announced that it will mark the beginning of Work Zone Awareness Week with a unique display at Cadillac Ranch.

According to TxDOT, a press conference is expected to begin at 2:30 p.m. at the Cadillac Ranch on Monday, accompanied by orange traffic barrels “buried” into the ground in homage to the memory of those who were killed in work zone traffic crashes throughout 2021.

TxDOT said that work zone traffic fatalities in Texas increased 33% throughout 2021, and the overall number of crashes in highway construction and maintenance areas significantly increased to more than 26,000.

In an effort to mark National Work Zone Awareness Week, set to run from April 11 through April 15, TxDOT said it will join law enforcement and safety advocates to urge motorists to stay alert and slow down when driving through work zones. With road crews often working only feet from fast-moving vehicles, TxDOT reminded drivers to watch for temporary signage and flaggers directing traffic.

The El Paso District of TxDOT also marked the safety week with an orange-barrel constructed display, aiming to encourage drivers to be safe on Texas roadways with a towering snake statue.

TxDOT also previously detailed five tips for driving safely through a work zone:

  • Slow down. Follow the posted speed limit and adjust your driving to match road conditions.
  • Pay attention. Avoid distractions, keep your mind on the road, and put your phone away.
  • Watch out for road crews. The only protective gear they wear is reflective clothing, a hardhat, and safety boots. Always follow flaggers’ instructions and be mindful of construction area road signs.
  • Don’t tailgate. Give yourself room to stop in a hurry, should you need to. Rear-end collisions are the most common kind of work zone crashes.
  • Allow extra time. Road construction can slow things down. Count on it, and plan for it.

For the latest on highway conditions, weather, and local news, check with MyHighPlains.com.