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As warmer weather returns and spring begins to set in, there’s another return many drivers despise — roadway work zones.

Yes, the work zones can be a hassle, especially when you are running late to an appointment. But the orange cones and barrels are not going to go away just because we wish they would.

The Kentucky Transportation Cabinet has declared April 3-7 as “Glow Orange, Kentucky” week, an initiative inspired by a national campaign to increase work zone safety awareness. The KYTC is inviting organizations and citizens throughout the state to pledge to illuminate buildings, landmarks, bridges, structures and homes with the color orange to show their support.

“The purpose of ‘Glow Orange, Kentucky’ is to remind drivers to slow down, avoid distractions and exercise caution to ensure that workers and motorists reunite with their families each night,” said KYTC Secretary Greg Thomas.

Crews in work zones risk their lives every day to maintain infrastructure that allows us to visit our friends and families, get to work or school and enjoy our beautiful state.

Thomas said no one should have to go to work worrying whether they will return home. And that is why it is important for all of us — whether we like the color orange or not — to “Glow Orange” next week and beyond.

Many of us will encounter at least one work zone during our daily travels and a split second of driver inattention can turn a highway work zone into a death zone.

According to the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA), on average, one person dies every 13 hours and one person is injured every 13 minutes in a work zone in the United States.

We can help change those statistics by being responsible and mindful when driving through a work zone. The men and women working are just like us.

To ensure that you don’t endanger the life of a worker, slow down steadily whenever you approach a construction zone, even if there isn’t a sign expressly reducing the speed limit. Carefully move over to a lane farther away from the construction project, when possible.

Keep both hands on the wheel and your eyes on the road. Don’t get on your phone or mess with your radio. Don’t try to eat or drink. Focus on safety, making sure you get through the work zone without creating a hassle for yourself and, more importantly, without endangering anyone.

Work zone safety is everyone’s responsibility. While the hassle of a work zone may be frustrating now, highway workers are there to improve the driving conditions for us in the long run. Let’s make sure they get home to their families just like us.

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