Mass. Transportation Officials Urge Safety Amid Rise In Work Zone Crashes

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BOSTON (WBZ NewsRadio) — Massachusetts transportation and law enforcement officials are considering enforcing the "Move Over" Law following hundreds of work zone crashes in 2021.

The American Automobile Association Northeast, Massachusetts Department of Transportation, and the Massachusetts State Police are encouraging drivers to take the steps to avoid work zone crashes.

"Please remember to scan the road, eliminate driving distractions, and slow down and move over," said AAA's Mary Maguire. AAA Northeast reported 681 work zone crashes were filed in the Commonwealth last year, the highest number reported since 2017. Maguire says that from 2018 to 2021 there were over 180 work zone crashes that resulted in a serious injury or death.

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MassDOT Highway Administrator John Gulliver says that work zone accidents are national rising concern and always preventable. Gulliver says that 117 workers died at on-site accident in 2020 alone.

"There were also many more work zone incidents that were close calls, but I can tell you from firsthand experience they are very scary when they happen," Gulliver said.

AAA Northeast held a virtual event last week where officials spoke with Nancy Devlin, the widow of State Trooper Thomas Devlin, who died from complications in 2020 after a roadside accident back in 2018.

"The driver hit him at 54.7 miles an hour and never touched his brakes, didn't slow down, wasn't paying attention," Nancy said.

WBZ's Tim Dunn (@ConsiderMeDunn) reports.

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