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National Work Zone Awareness Week

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April 17 – 21, 2023

National Work Zone Awareness Week (NWZAW) takes place every spring to bring attention to the upcoming summer construction season with information and tips to help save lives.

The Missouri Department of Transportation (MoDOT) hosts the 2023 NWZAW kickoff event. This year’s theme is “You play a role in work zone safety. Work with us.”

2023 NWZAW poster and theme

An Introduction to the Campaign

The Virginia Department of Transportation started the awareness campaign that evolved into National Work Zone Awareness Week. The roadwork calendar for the summer of 1997 was fully booked, with more projects than anyone recalls having for the warm months. VDOT employees from southwest Virginia wanted to dedicate a week in the spring to raise awareness of the upcoming construction season. A successful promotion led to sharing the campaign with other state DOTs and the American Traffic Safety Services Association, eventually involving the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA). In 2000, the first official National Work Zone Awareness Week (NWZAW) took place in Springfield, Virginia.


  • Initiate an educational campaign to raise awareness for more caution when driving through work zones to decrease fatalities and injuries;
  • Establish and promote a uniform set of safety tips;
  • Promote training and best practices for work zone safety in the private sector, transportation industry, and roadway workers;
  • Involve roadway workers and contractors for their insight into ways to lessen incidents based on motorist behavior;
  • Outreach efforts to unite entities involved with work zone safety and to form partnerships across industries, agencies, and jurisdictions.

NWZAW is for everyone

Were you under the assumption that NWZAW’s main goal was to protect construction workers in roadway work zones? The fact is, only one out of every eight fatalities is a worker. The other seven-eighths of fatalities are motorists or their passengers.

Roadway construction workers know the dangers of their job. They live it and work it every day. Motorists aren’t typically exposed to work zones daily. A campaign ahead of the summer roadwork season does an excellent public service to remind them to slow down, pay attention, and have patience in work zones because lives depend on it.

Work Zone Safety data from the Federal Highway Administration

FARS 2019 Final File and 2020 Annual Report File, National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). FARS data shown here are from the 50 States, District of Columbia, and Puerto Rico.
Sobering data from NHTSA shows room for improvement in roadway work zone fatalities.

How to participate

National kickoff event

Tuesday, April 18

​The NWZAW 2023 kickoff, hosted by the Missouri Department of Transportation (MoDOT), occurs at the new I-70 westbound bridge over the Missouri River near Rocheport, 10-11 a.m. CT. The speaking portion of the news conference will last approximately 30 minutes, followed by media interviews.

The kickoff will be live-streamed by MoDOT for nationwide participation. The live stream link will be posted on the MoDOT webpage when available.

Go Orange Day

Wednesday, April 19

Transportation and roadwork professionals across the country are encouraged to wear orange to support work zone safety. Go Orange Day supports the families of victims who have lost their lives in work zones.

Show your support on social media by posting your orange pics and using the hashtags #NWZAW and #Orange4Safety.

Social media storm

Thursday, April 20

Organizations, companies, institutions, agencies, and individuals are asked to share messages and use hashtags #NWZAW and #WorkZoneSafety throughout social media between 9 a.m. and 4 p.m. ET. ​

Share your stories to help raise awareness on social media.

Moment of Silence

Friday, April 21

The Moment of Silence started in 2022 and encourages companies and families to join together for a moment of silence as a tribute to the people who lost their lives in a work zone incident.​

Workers and travelers alike are affected by work zone safety.

Spotlight: Iowa’s work zones

Iowa’s location and corn production make it a central transportation hub

Did you know that Iowa is among the nation’s leaders in highway work zone safety initiatives? That’s because Iowa is a central hub for the efficient movement of goods across America’s highways.

When the Iowa Department of Transportation needed technology to improve work zone safety, they turned to Q-Free to take advantage of a new standard for data sharing in work zones. The Work Zone Data Exchange (WZDx) standard, developed by the Federal Highway Administration, is a universal format data feed that eliminates third-party vendors and proprietary technology, leading to an openly adoptable standard to transfer data. Work zones, traffic controllers, autonomous vehicles, smart signals, cameras, agencies like Departments of Transportation, and navigation software could access and share data like never before.


LaneAware Work Zones

A simple, yet sophisticated lane closure management tool
for managing recurring and one-off work zone activities and special events.

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