"Work zones are temporary. Actions behind the wheel can last forever."

Article Body

For Immediate Release: 
Thursday, April 11, 2024

Julie Stevenson, Strategic Communications Coordinator, 605-773-2898



 “Work zones are temporary. Actions behind the wheel can last forever.”
National Work Zone Awareness Week  - April 15-19, 2024



PIERRE, S.D. –  National Work Zone Awareness Week (NWZAW) is an annual awareness campaign held at the start of construction season to remind drivers to be attentive through work zones during the busy summer travel months. The official theme for NWZAW 2024, is “Work zones are temporary. Actions behind the wheel can last forever.” NWZAW will be observed with awareness events and activities throughout the week of April 15-19, 2024.


“All drivers need to take personal responsibility to eliminate distractions and stay focused on the road,” said Joel Jundt, Secretary, South Dakota Department of Transportation (SDDOT). “The SDDOT, along with other state agencies, are asking South Dakotans to actively participate in the “Buckle Up! Phone Down!” driver challenge during NWZAW to assure that all roadway workers arrive home safely each and every day.”


As part of NWZAW, everyone is encouraged to participate in Go Orange Day on Wednesday, April 17, 2024. Demonstrate support for highway construction employees across the state by wearing orange apparel and posting “Buckle Up! Phone Down!” photos on social media using the hashtags #NWZAW, #Orange4Safety, #BuckleUpPhoneDown, or #SDDOT.


NWZAW has been observed for more than 20 years and was launched as a public awareness campaign to help all drivers understand their role in keeping fellow motorists and roadway workers safe.


“This is a concerted effort by many to raise critical public awareness,” said Craig Smith, SDDOT Director of Operations. “During NWZAW, our staff partners with area contractors and local, state, and federal agencies to provide safety tips and officially kick-off the 2024 construction season by highlighting key projects planned across South Dakota.” Smith will kick-off NWZAW on Monday, April 15, 2024 with a Facebook live-stream event.


SDDOT also created construction-themed coloring sheets, crossword puzzles, and word finds for young families and elementary classrooms to use to promote safety awareness. The materials are available to download at https://dot.sd.gov/inside-sddot/of-interest/work-zone-awareness-week. On this site, find NWZAW informational facts along with SDDOT employee photos and awareness-building videos.


About NWZAW:.
State departments of transportation, federal agencies, and other organizations participate each year in NWZAW to distribute public service announcements about work zone safety and host events to highlight the issue. To learn more about national efforts around NWZAW, visit https://www.nwzaw.org/.

About SDDOT:
The mission of the South Dakota Department of Transportation is to efficiently provide a safe and effective public transportation system.

For the latest on road and weather conditions, road closures, construction work zones, commercial vehicle restrictions, and traffic incidents, please visit https://sd511.org or dial 511.

Read more about the innovative work of the SDDOT at https://dot.sd.gov.