Saturday, May 18, 2024

32 deaths reported in Idaho work zones

| April 16, 2024 1:00 AM

COEUR d’ALENE — Most people killed in work zone crashes are not the workers.

It's drivers and passengers.

According to the Idaho Office of Highway Safety, from 2018-2022 there were 3,315 crashes in work zones in Idaho. During that period, 32 people were killed, all of them were in vehicles.

“When you’re behind the wheel of a vehicle, it is essential to remember that the workers in construction zones have families and friends who love them, and they have entire lives they’re living too,” said the Idaho Association of General Contractors in a statement. “Driving recklessly is selfish, and we all must do our part to ensure the safety of the hardworking members of our community out on the roads.”

The Idaho Transportation Department said Monday it is joining with states across the country for National Work Zone Awareness Week, which is this week.

"Driving cautiously in highway work zones helps families,” said ITD Chief Deputy/Chief Operations Officer Dan McElhinney. 

Driving engaged, free from distractions and actively scanning the road ahead, is extra important in work zones due to narrowed lanes, traffic pattern shifts and uneven road surfaces.

In North Idaho, there are several construction zones ongoing or planned to start this summer. They include: I-90, SH-41 Interchange; SH-53 Pleasant View Interchange; SH-53 in Rathdrum turn lanes; I-90 bridges near Cataldo; I-90 Big Creek Exit to West Wallace Exit; U.S. 2 from the U.S. 95 junction to Montana state line; and U.S. 95 near McArthur Lake.