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August 12, 2013

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IDOT, ISP Unveil National Work Zone Memorial Wall at Illinois State Fair to Honor Lives Lost in Construction Zones

Safety Advocates Highlight Recent Safety Laws, Prominent Traffic Safety Contributions; Commemorate Lives Lost in Work Zones

SPRINGFIELD – Illinois Department of Transportation (IDOT) officials, the Illinois State Police (ISP), and other safety partners teamed up today to honor workers who have lost their lives in work zones. The safety advocates unveiled the American Traffic Safety Services Association National Work Zone Memorial Wall, at a news conference at the Illinois State Fair. The memorial represents a living tribute to the men, women and children who have died in work zones.

“This memorial wall serves as a reminder that too many people are dying on Illinois roadways,” said Illinois Transportation Secretary Ann L. Schneider. “We want to honor and remember the lives lost over the years and encourage drivers to always drive the posted speed limit, eliminate all distractions and put down your cell phone in work zones to help make sure you and others sharing the road arrive to your destinations safely.”

The National Work Zone Memorial Wall debuted in 2002 to honor the memory of all who have died in work zone crashes across the nation. The memorial travels to communities throughout the country, raising the public’s awareness to the need to respect safety in work zones. The wall will be on display at the Illinois State Fairgrounds through August 18 in the Grandstand near the Heritage Foundation booth.

Illinois averages 5,000 to 7,000 motor vehicles crashes in work zones every year. An average of 20 to 30 people die in work zones annually, with an average of at least one fatality involving a worker. In 2012, 19 people died in work zones - 10 drivers, 3 passengers in vehicles, 2 pedestrians, 2 motorcyclists and 2 construction workers.

“The Illinois State Police is committed to making the roads safer for everyone, including construction engineers and first responders in and around work zones,” said Illinois State Police Colonel Mike Zerbonia. “The work zone safety signs and messages are clear, and motorists have a responsibility to slow down and pay attention to emergency lights and warnings when traveling though construction zones to avoid tragedies and potential fatalities,” added Zerbonia.

Under Secretary Schneider’s leadership, IDOT is focused on reducing fatalities on the state’s roadways, including in work zones.

For more information on the National Work Zone Memorial Wall, visit

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