Orange lights raise work zone awareness

Several buildings and bridges across Kansas are lit up in orange lights to help raise awareness on work zone safety this week.

“We have the Governor’s mansion and the inside of the Capitol, the Amelia Earhart bridge, the City of Topeka front of the building, numerous KDOT offices around the state,” said Kim Stich with KDOT. “All are featuring orange to help highlight work zone safety awareness.”

It’s important to note that it’s not just workers that get hurt in work zones.

“Eighty-five to 90 percent of the time, it’s the motorists who are injured or killed in work zone crashes,” said Stich. “When a crash involves a worker, it’s much more serious, but most of the time, motorists rear end each other or aren’t paying attention and go off the side.”

A KDOT worker let us know about a close call they had in his area.

“Just last summer, we were patching asphalt on the highway on Highway 24,” said Rusty Miller with KDOT. “Cars were
just zinging by us and one of them came through the cones and knocked the cones and it hit one of my guys. Had they not pulled back over, the cone startled them, so they pulled back over in their right lane and kept going. They didn’t even stop to check on us, but had they not been startled, they would have ran right over one of my guys out there working.”

People are encouraged to participate by wearing orange on Thursday, April 11, the official Go Orange Day! in Kansas.