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MDOT concerned by increase of road and work zone fatalities

MDOT concerned by increase of road and work zone fatalities

Michigan Department of Transportation (MDOT) officials say while there may be fewer motorists on the roads, the number of road and work zone fatalities are on the rise. The increase in crashes and fatalities comes at a time when the department is reporting a 20-percent decrease in overall statewide traffic volumes due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.

As of Monday, 21 people died on Michigan roadways since last week making a total of 751 this year. In addition, 215 more were seriously injured for a statewide total of 3,812 to date. Compared to last year at this time there are 64 more fatalities and 268 fewer serious injuries. Numbers are provided by the Michigan State Police.

Most recently, vehicles struck three on-the-job road workers, killing two of them.

On Monday, Sept. 21, Zachery Morisette, a 26-year old Macomb County Department of Roads employee, was struck and killed while replacing a manhole cover on I-94 near 9 Mile Road in Macomb County.

On Thursday, Sept. 24, Jeremy Zeitz, a 40-year old road worker from Gladwin, was struck and killed while working on Sherwood Highway over I-69 in Eaton County.

“We are deeply saddened by these recent road worker fatalities. These workers had families and friends who loved and will miss them immensely,” State Transportation Director Paul C. Ajegba said. “As we begin our Rebuilding Michigan bonding program aimed at catching up with years of our state’s underinvestment in roads, you can expect a great deal of work on highways across the state. We implore you to slow down and drive through work zones as if it was your own workplace.”

MDOT understands that traveling through work zones can be frustrating. The department is working diligently to reduce the impacts that road work has on motorists while delivering smooth and safe roads. As a reminder, motorists should always slow down, follow all posted signs, be alert, and remain calm when driving through a work zone.  

MDOT is dedicated to zero deaths on our roads and protecting all workers who build and maintain Michigan’s infrastructure.

Learn more about work zone safety at www.Michigan.gov/WorkZoneSafety.

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