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DOWNEY ANNOUNCES NEW HIGHWAY WORKER SAFETY INITIATIVE

American Government Special Collections Reference Desk

American Government Topics:  Mortimer Downey

DOWNEY ANNOUNCES NEW HIGHWAY WORKER SAFETY INITIATIVE

U.S. Department of Transportation
March 24, 1998

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Tuesday, March 24, 1998
Contact: Bill Adams
Tel.: (202) 366-5580
DOT 52-98

Deputy Secretary of Transportation Mortimer Downey today announced the opening of the National Highway Work Zone Information Clearinghouse, a new partnership to improve safety at road construction sites.

"The record levels of transportation investment under President Clinton have increased highway construction and maintenance," said Downey, speaking at a work zone on Texas State Highway 6 in College Station. "Most of the time we can’t shut down traffic while this construction is going on, so we have to create work zones to let traffic pass even while highway workers do their jobs just a few feet away. But work zones shouldn’t be danger zones, so we’re acting now to protect highway workers and travelers."

The National Highway Work Zone Information Clearinghouse will help fulfill Secretary Slater’s commitment to making safety the Department of Transportation’s highest priority. The landmark partnership will give contractors, workers, and safety officials the information they need to reduce the more than 700 deaths and 5,000 injuries that occur annually in work zone crashes.

The Clearinghouse will provide information on work zone safety, including best practices in design, contractor and worker safety training programs, public awareness and law enforcement campaigns, and material on safety products.

The Clearinghouse is a cooperative venture between the U.S. Department of Transportation, which is providing $1 million in funding over the next three years, and the American Road and Transportation Builders Association. The Clearinghouse will be operated by the Texas Transportation Institute in College Station, Texas. The National Utility Contractors Association and the Institute of Transportation Engineers will help to publicize the new service.

Users can communicate with the Clearinghouse via toll-free telephone (1-888-447-5556), fax (409-845-0568), or e-mail workzone@tamu.edu. In most cases, information will be provided at no charge. Users also can visit the Clearinghouse’s website at http://wzsafety.tamu.edu.

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