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MoDOT kicks off Work Zone Awareness Week

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WEST QUINCY, MO. (WGEM) -- As you’re getting ready to jump in the car to head to work, you may be running late, but MODOT says it’s important to slow down and pay attention behind the wheel.

That's especially true in work zones.

This is work zone awareness week all across the country.

MoDOT said it sees deadly work zone crashes every year, but in 2020, there was a higher amount of close calls between workers and traffic in work zones.

In fact, MoDOT said last year, despite having half the traffic they normally see, work zone crashes doubled.

Those workers are urging drivers to focus on keeping themselves and workers safe.

"We ask people to slow down, give driving their full attention while they're out there and pay attention to the signs. Again just pay attention and drive like that's your family member out there because every worker out there, they have family and friends that care about them getting home," said Brain Untiedt, MoDOT area engineer.

In the fall, MoDOT put together a research team to look into the reasons work zone accidents were on the rise.

Untiedt said he found people sped more because there were fewer cars on the road and they felt the risk was lower.

MoDOT said its working with local police departments to crack down on bad habits in work zones.

Missouri State Highway Patrol says 27 people were killed and 661 hurt in vehicle crashes in work zones last year.

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