NCDOT Work Zone Awareness Week reminds people to drive safe

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GREENSBORO, N.C. -- The North Carolina Department of Transportation is reminding people to drive safe in work zones. Twenty-six people died last year in crashes that happened in work zones in the state, that includes construction sites and anywhere an emergency car has it’s lights on.

According to the NCDOT, there are more than 600 active work zones across the state.

This week they are reminding drivers to pay attention to signs, keep an eye out for workers and watch out for debris.

Bill Barger works for the NCDOT State Farm Safety Patrol, also known as IMAP. He almost lost his life in 2014 when a driver of an 18-wheeler failed to follow the move over law.

“I was walking back to my truck and it had been raining and I hear a sliding sound, a skidding sound,” said Barger. “It was an 18-wheel truck.”

Barger moved out of the way just in time.

”I would've been killed,” Barger said. “I would've lost my life that day.”

The move over law requires drivers to move one lane over from a construction or emergency car with flashing lights. If a driver can’t move over, they should slow down.

“The key for all of us to not be distracted when we were driving,” Barger said. “It's so easy to do.”

According to the NCDOT, there are also a number of other things people can do to stay safe in work zones like not changing lanes, turning on their headlights, leaving early and planning an alternative route to avoid traffic.

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