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Tragedy serves as a reminder during National Work Zone Awareness Week

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In 2023, there were over 7,200 work zone crashes in Michigan. Of those, 20 were fatal.

Michigan State Police say Logan Brown ignored signs to stop for a construction zone when he rear-ended another car that hit and killed 58-year-old Rene Rangel last March.

It’s tragedies like this that make National Work Zone Awareness Week so important. MDOT Grand Region Communications Representative John Richard says road construction can be dangerous work.

“We try to make things as safe as possible but there’s a lot of responsibility for the motorist, right? They can’t be speeding through work zones, they can’t be tailgating, but first and foremost, you have to pay attention and focus at all times.”

In 2023, there were over 7,200 work zone crashes in Michigan. Of those, 20 were fatal.

“The theme this year for the Work Zone Awareness Week is really spot-on: Work zones are temporary. Actions behind the wheel can last forever, and that’s really so true if you think about it so if people would just be a little more patient, it would help everybody out.”

Richard says while campaigns like Work Zone Awareness Week are important

“In my opinion, safety week is safety year, right? Because there’s work zones all over the place. Even without a work zone, crashes obviously take place everyday, so it’s not just work zones. It’s driving in general.”

You can check for work zones on your route by using the MI Drive Map online.

Dave joined WGVU Public Media in November of 2023 after eighteen years as a Michigan Association of Broadcasters Emmy-nominated photojournalist and editor at Grand Rapids' WOOD TV8 and three years at WEYI TV25 in Flint, Michigan. As a General Assignment Reporter, Dave covers daily news and community events all over West Michigan.
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