Press Release from Gov. Bill Haslam and the Tennessee Department of Transportation; April 4, 2011:
NASHVILLE — Governor Bill Haslam today proclaimed April 4 – 8, 2011 Work Zone Awareness Week in Tennessee, joining states across the nation to remind motorists that safer driving creates safer work zones for everyone. TDOT will spread that message across the state this week in an effort to improve safety in Tennessee’s interstate and highway construction and maintenance work zones. TDOT is also announcing the launch of the new TDOT SmartWay Mobile for smart phones.
“As we head into the busy construction season, motorists will encounter more maintenance workers, utility personnel, and construction workers on Tennessee’s roadways,” said Governor Haslam. “I want to remind all drivers to stay alert and focused and exercise caution and patience when driving through work zones across the state. Doing so will help ensure everyone stays safe.”
The spring and summer months provide perfect weather for highway work, and there hundreds of work zones across Tennessee in downtowns, along interstates and in rural areas. Highway work zones can change frequently, making it even more important to pay attention to the road. Nationally, 85 percent of those killed in work zones are drivers and their passengers. Last year in Tennessee, eight people died in work zone crashes, all of them drivers or vehicle passengers.
TDOT offers motorists a number of tools to provide information about Tennessee’s highway system, including construction related lane closures and incidents on interstates and state routes. Today, TDOT is unveiling a new website that will allow smart phone users to easily access the same information on their mobile devices. TDOT SmartWay Mobile also provides simple and easy access to TDOT’s SmartWay cameras and messages displayed on the overhead Dynamic Message Signs.
“By incorporating new technology, we are arming motorists with up to the minute information, even when they’re on the go,” said TDOT Commissioner John Schroer. “Drivers can adjust their travel times and routes, and be alert for road work ahead.”
The new website works like an application. However, there is no download and no cost for its use. TDOT suggests motorists make the new website a favorite on their smart phones for ease of use. The URL is http://m.tdot.tn.gov/SmartWay/. TDOT has also posted an instructional video at http://www.tn.gov/tdot/tdotsmartway/mobile.htm
TDOT will draw attention to Work Zone Awareness Week by lighting several buildings in orange, including the State Capitol, Nashville Metro Courthouse, Bridgestone Arena, and TDOT Regional Offices in Jackson, Chattanooga, Knoxville and Nashville. Work zone safety messages will also be displayed on TDOT’s overhead Dynamic Message Signs on interstates.