- Editor’s Note: In recognition of National Work Zone Awareness Week and in memory of Kane County Division of Transportation worker Steve Chidester, KDOT and Kane County Connects is posting a series of articles this week to promote work zone safety and to show respect and remembrance for the families of victims who have lost their lives in work zones across the country.
Kane County employees will be wearing orange Wednesday in remembrance of Steve Chidester and to promote work zone safety.
Chidester is the Kane County Division of Transportation highway maintainer who died May 19, 2016, when he was struck by a car while fixing a pothole on Harter Road. He is believed to be the first KDOT employee to have lost his life in a work-zone-related incident and the only person in Illinois to have died in a work zone in 2016.
KDOT, the Illinois Department of Transportation and transportation officials across the country recognize Wednesday, April 5, as Go Orange Day, when roadway professionals wear orange to proudly show their support of work zone safety.
Bill Edwards, Kane County Division of Transportation maintenance superintendent, said Go Orange Day has a special meaning this year.
“Wearing orange for us means showing respect for roadway safety,” he said. “It helps us remember our friends and families that work in the roadway, and those close to us who have lost their lives in work zones.”
Go Orange Day is part of National Work Zone Awareness Week, a campaign reminding drivers to keep their hands on the wheel and eyes on the road. During this week, KDOT is hanging posters and putting out message boards along roads throughout the county.
Work zone awareness is an important part of the overall strategy to reduce or eliminate work zone deaths. To emphasize that point, there are a number of sanctions drivers should be aware of. For example, the fine for a first offense of speeding in a work zone is $375, and the penalty for hitting a worker in a work zone is a fine of up to $10,000 and 14 years in prison.
IDOT is promoting work zone safety awareness through its Statewide Work Zone Map, which shows the location and conditions of work zones throughout the state of Illinois.
This year for Go Orange Day, the American Traffic Safety Services Organization is expanding its focus to not only photos but videos. ATSSA wants to see videos of you or a group wearing orange and saying why you support Go Orange Day and National Work Zone Awareness Week, doing something fun, safe and creative.
Read the ‘Remembering Steve’ Work Zone Safety Series
- Friday — KDOT’s April 1 Road Cleanup Has Deeper Meaning
- Monday — What KDOT Is Doing to Improve Work Zone Safety
- Tuesday — ‘Remembering Steve’ by Wearing Orange Wednesday
- Wednesday — What Kane Drivers Can Do to Make Zero Fatalities a Reality
- Thursday — Remembering Steve: Let’s Bring National Work Zone Memorial to Kane County