ODOT Promotes Safe Driving Heading Into Memorial Day Weekend

Wednesday, May 20th 2020, 12:30 pm
By: Amy Avery

TULSA, Okla. -

Work Zone Safety Awareness Week is usually in April but because fewer drivers were out on the roads the Oklahoma Department of Transportation decided to move it to the week of May 18 instead and because the stay at home order is lifted traffic is expected to increase as going forward.

During the month of April, ODOT says traffic counts were down about 50% because of the stay at home order but as those orders are being lifted, ODOT is reminding drivers they need to stay safe as they head back out on the roads

Corby Potts has been working for ODOT for 6 years now and during his first year on the job, he witnessed an accident in a construction zone caused by distracted driving.

"There was a head-on collision and it caused some injuries, luckily everyone made it out alive," said Potts.

Even though traffic counts are still down, more drivers are hitting the roads and ODOT says it's important for drivers to know projects have progressed while they've been home.

"Lanes might've shifted, different traffic configurations, so we want to make sure that drivers remember as they're getting back out that they still need to be safe as well," said Kenna Mitchell with ODOT.

Mitchell says even though there was less traffic out on the roads, some of that traffic was pretty reckless. Law Enforcement Agencies say they've seen an uptick in speeding and distracted driving. So that's why safety awareness weeks like this are crucial for ODOT.

"It just takes one person in a work zone that can cause a catastrophe in a matter of second," said Mitchell.

Safety is especially crucial for ODOT employees like Potts, who just want to go home.

"We're there to do our job and we want to go home safely every day and we want everyone who goes through our work zone to get home safely," said Potts

ODOT has an option on their website where you can sign up for daily construction briefings if you travel a lot for work.