(MDOT SHA photo: MDOT SHA Logo)

Governor Hogan Declares April 13 Go Orange/Roadway Worker Appreciation Day – New Campaign Features Real Highway Workers

HANOVER, MD (April 13, 2016) –  To bring attention to the launch of the construction season and the uptick of fatal work zone crashes, Governor Larry Hogan designated April 11-15 as Work Zone Safety Awareness Week, coinciding with the national observation. The Governor also declared April 13th as Go Orange / Roadway Worker Appreciation Day to remind Marylanders to partner in work zone safety.  Government House in Annapolis will be lit in orange as a tribute to highway workers and to help raise work zone awareness.  These efforts, combined with a summer-long outreach campaign, are intended to protect workers, as well as the drivers and passengers who will travel through the hundreds of work zones in place throughout Maryland this summer.

Today, Transportation Secretary Pete K. Rahn joined State Highway Administrator Gregory C. Johnson, Maryland State Police Major Bill Dofflemyer, workers and contractors to visit two construction zones:  the $47-million project at MD 5 (Branch Avenue) in Prince George’s County and the $33 million I-695 (Baltimore Beltway) widening project at Old Harford Road in Baltimore County.   Secretary Rahn invited press to see first-hand the dangers of working alongside high-speed, loud traffic.

“With more projects underway than ever before, please slow down and protect our workers rebuilding Maryland’s roads,” said Secretary Rahn.

Nationally, on average 700 people lose their lives annually in work zone-related crashes.  In Maryland, after a decrease in work zone-related crash fatalities, they are again on the rise.  The latest statistics available reflect that nine people lost their lives in Maryland work zone crashes in 2014.

“These numbers are unacceptable and the fact that they continue to rise is even more troubling,” said State Highway Administrator Johnson. “The people who work on roadways are mothers, fathers, sons, daughters, sisters and brothers and deserve to get home to their families.  That’s why we’re featuring our own employees in outreach materials, to show the real people behind the barrels.  Their safety is in your hands.”


The State Highway Administration (SHA) is using social media, billboards, gas station toppers, radio public service announcements and other education materials to reinforce these safety messages.  In addition to Government House, the Maryland Department of Transportation and SHA headquarters buildings will be lit orange, along with other displays of orange from private industry partners across the state.  SHA will feature “Go Orange” efforts, such as employees dressed in orange, on its Facebook page at  

“Drivers play a very important role in keeping work zones safe,” said Maryland State Police Major Bill Dofflemyer.  “Similar to when we ask drivers to slow down and move over for emergency responders, we’re asking that drivers remain vigilant when driving through work zones – even the slightest error can have deadly consequences.”


State employees, contractors and subcontractors are widening roadways, constructing interchanges, rehabilitating bridges and performing a variety of maintenance tasks. SHA and its transportation partners work hard to maintain safe traffic mobility in work zones, but motorists need to modify their driving habits to prevent crashes.  Maryland State Police Troopers assist in work zones, help manage the SafeZones automated speed enforcement program present at this project, and enforce speeding and attentive driving laws in and around work zones.

A complete listing of current roadway projects is included in E-Road Ready, the online brochure.  For more information on Work Zone Safety Awareness, visit and click on the work zone safety banner.  Maryland drivers can also know before they go by calling 511 or visiting for live traffic updates, including construction delays and lane closures.

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