BALTIMORE (WJZ) — Governor Larry Hogan officially declares this week “Work Zone Safety Awareness Week.” Now the State Highway Administration wants drivers to know safety is in their hands.

Amy Yensi has more on why the message is more important this construction season.

The State Highway Administration wants to help keep the roads and those who fix them safe.

“My son is a college freshman this year for the first time without his dad,” said Laurie Moser.

Moser lost her husband, Richard, in 2007. The state highway worker was struck and killed by a pickup truck.

“I want to spare other families from experiencing any tragedy such as ours,” she said.

To kick off construction season and mark “Maryland Roadway Worker Appreciation Day,” the State Highway Administration is speaking out about work zone crashes.

From the new Old Harford bridge to the widening of the Baltimore Beltway, the SHA says 2016 will be a record year for road construction. That’s why it’s urging drivers to look out for highway workers and slow down when entering a construction zone.

“We want to make sure people are being careful for their own benefit and their passengers, as well as for our workers,” said Pete Rahn, Maryland Transportation Secretary.

More than 700 people die each year in work zone crashes. In 2014, nine people were killed in Maryland, including workers, drivers and passengers.

Officials say distracted drivers are often to blame.

“Talking on the phone, texting, eating, drinking and even putting on makeup–you name it, they are doing it,” said Ms. Rhonda Outlaw, Flagger Force.

Highway workers see countless vehicles go by every day. The only things protecting them from oncoming traffic are their vests, hats and a few yellow traffic cones on the road.

“They are doing this for us. We should respect that work,” said Rahn.

To get the latest traffic or construction information, call 511.

April 13 is national “Go Orange Day.”

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