RIDOT, SAFETY PARTNERS MARK WORK ZONE AWARENESS WEEK

 

The Rhode Island Department of Transportation (RIDOT) and its safety partners joined forces today to urge drivers to slow down and move over when approaching work zones and first responders to save lives. The week of April 15, 2024 is National Work Zone Awareness Week.

Director Peter Alviti was joined by State Police Colonel Darnell Weaver, East Providence Police Chief Christopher Francesconi, FHWA Regional Director Derek Torrey and officials from AAA Northeast, the Rhode Island Building and Construction Trades and the New England Laborers’ Health and Safety Fund to draw awareness to the issue.

Speaking at RIDOT’s East Providence Maintenance Facility, Director Alviti noted that RIDOT has 63 active projects this construction season in dozens of work zones throughout the state. Plus, RIDOT has 20 to 30 active maintenance work zones throughout the state every day. Statistics show that there are about 900 fatalities each year in active work zones and the bulk of these are among drivers who hit either barriers or equipment.

State and local police pointed out the importance, as well, of drivers slowing down and moving over when first responders are working on the side of the road. In 2008, Rhode Island passed the “move over” law which requires drivers to move over a lane when approaching a first responder. In 2014, the law was expanded to include construction and highway maintenance workers. If a driver is not able to move over, he or she must slow down to leave as much space as possible between their vehicle and those that are stopped.

“Every day, law enforcement officers, emergency responders and roadside workers put their lives at risk to see important construction projects through and uphold the safety of our communities. By slowing down and moving over, you are doing your part to protect roadside workers and ensure work zone safety on our highways,” said Colonel Weaver.

Chief Christopher Francesconi of the East Providence Police Department said, “In work zones, every cone, every barricade and every flashing light is there for a reason: to keep roadside workers, law enforcement officers and drivers safe. It only takes a split second of distraction to cause a tragedy. Today we are reminding all drivers to keep your attention on the road.”

All RIDOT work zones are set up with careful attention to safety and in coordination with national standards and best practices. Work zone inspections take place on a regular basis as well.

 
Former President Trump's criminal hush money trial is back underway in New York. Ex-Trump lawyer Michael Cohen is back on the stand today and is being cross examined after the former-president's defense team last week accused him of lying and trying to get revenge against Trump. It's unclear if Trump will take the stand in this trial.       The ship that struck Baltimore's Francis Scott Key Bridge will be removed from the channel soon. That's what Maryland Governor Wes Moore told NBC's "Meet the Press." The ship has been sitting in the middle of the Patapsco River since late March when it collided with the bridge.        The president of Iran is dead. A helicopter carrying President Ebrahim Raisi [[ rah-AY-see ]] and eight other people crashed Sunday afternoon local time in the mountain province of East Azerbaijan. Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer said intelligence officals have told him there is "no evidence of foul play."        New Jersey Democratic Senator Bob Menendez's corruption trial resumes today. Prosecutors are focus on the senator's Egyptian connection. They are taking a deep dive into how Menendez allegedly used his position as Chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee to help a New Jersey business tycoon land a monopoly deal with Egypt.        Sean "Diddy" Combs says his behavior on a video that appears to show him assaulting his ex-girlfriend Cassie Ventura in 2016 is "inexcusable." In a video posted to Instagram yesterday, he added that he takes full responsibility for his actions and that he was disgusted when he did it and he's disgusted now. Ventura reached an undisclosed settlement with Combs in November of 2023, one day after suing him for abuse.        The NHL's Stanley Cup Playoffs will wrap up the second round tonight. The Edmonton Oilers and the Canucks will meet up in Vancouver for game seven. The winner will go on to face the Dallas Stars in the Western Conference Finals starting on Thursday.