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National Grid urges caution near work zones

by jmaloni
Tue, Apr 12th 2011 03:05 pm

Alert motorists can help ensure safer conditions for crews and drivers  

Slow-moving traffic can frustrate drivers, but slowing down when approaching work zones is critically important to the safety of utility and other roadside work crews. 

According to the most recent data available from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, 41 people have been killed in roadway work zones from 2007-09 in states where National Grid provides service. Four of every five victims in a work zone crash are motorists.          

National Work Zone Awareness Week is an annual campaign by the U.S. Department of Transportation's Federal Highway Administration at the start of spring construction season to encourage safe driving through work sites.  On Friday, April 8, National Grid displayed reminders at selected work sites in the company's service area as a cue to drivers to be conscious of the safety of utility crews working in their communities.

Nationwide, the Federal Highway Administration reports that there were 667 work zone fatalities in 2009.

"Although National Grid crews are trained in work zone safety, wear high-visibility clothing, and post warning signs near work sites, the areas require heightened attention from drivers," said Chad Martin, director of safety at National Grid. "National Grid urges motorists to use extreme caution in work zones and to pay attention to warning signs.  Inattentive or aggressive driving in these areas could mean the difference between life and death."

National Grid offers motorists the following tips to maintain safety near utility crew work zones:

  • Slow down, stay alert and pay attention to the warning signs and traffic regulators.
  • Merge as soon as possible. Do not wait until the last second. This will help to keep traffic flowing smoothly.
  • Follow any and all instructions on warning signage.
  • Keep a safe distance between you and the vehicle in front of you, as well as any traffic barriers, construction vehicles/equipment and workers.
  • Plan ahead - have an alternate route.
  • Please have patience. National Grid personnel are working to improve the safety and reliability of your energy network. Cutting off other motorists, traveling at high speeds and ignoring posted warnings all serve to further slow the flow of traffic and to endanger everyone in the area.
  • Slow down immediately when you see indicators of roadside work in progress and always leave plenty of braking time between you and the car in front of you. A vehicle going 60 mph travels 88 feet per second.

National Grid is an international energy delivery company. In the U.S., National Grid delivers electricity to approximately 3.3 million customers in Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New York and Rhode Island, and manages the electricity network on Long Island under an agreement with the Long Island Power Authority. It is the largest distributor of natural gas in the northeastern U.S., serving approximately 3.4 million customers in Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New York and Rhode Island. National Grid also owns more than 4,000 megawatts of contracted electricity generation that provides power to over one million LIPA customers.

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