Maximizing investments in work zone safety in Oregon

In 2008, 720 fatalities occurred in work zones throughout the nation. This figure is two percent of all roadway fatalities for the year. With limited funds for safety, the Oregon Department of Transportation initiated a study to determine how it could be more strategic in planning how the available funds will be used. How do you get drivers to slow down in a work zone? Is it better to spend money on enforcement, traffic control equipment, or public education? To optimize the use of funds within each category, better data, as well as communication and coordination is needed: “A focal point for collecting and analyzing data on crashes, construction expenditures and, work zone enforcement, incidents, congestion, and delays is needed. …It is desirable to track activity and performance on a project by project basis as well as by region and statewide. Once established this information will provide program managers with the information they need to maximize the allocation resources.”