Officials launch 'Game of Cones' work zone safety campaign
The topic was deadly serious, but the governor and Oklahoma Department of Transportation officials also had some fun Monday as they launched a "Game of Cones" work zone safety campaign, featuring special events scheduled for April 1-14.
In a nod to the popular HBO series "Game of Thrones," state transportation officials adopted "In the Game of Cones, Safety Always Wins" as their campaign theme and constructed a nearly 8-foot-tall throne made out of traffic cones to help draw attention to efforts to make highway work zones safer.
Sixty-five people have been killed in traffic work zones in the last five years, officials said. Most of the deaths were motorists, but four Oklahoma Department of Transportation workers also were among those killed.
Nighttime intoxicated drivers used to pose the greatest danger to highway workers, but inattentive drivers using cellphones now pose similar dangers at all hours of the day and night, officials said.
Summer is the peak time for both driving and highway construction, so Gov. Kevin Stitt proclaimed April 1-14 as Work Zone Awareness Days on Monday to help refocus the public's attention on the need to avoid distractions as the summer driving season approaches.
Stitt was joined at the state Transportation Commission meeting Monday by 8-year-old Remington, one of his six children, who was following his dad around Monday as part of a school assignment to serve as governor for a day.
They took advantage of the throne of cones for a photo op.
Other Oklahomans can take their own pictures on the throne between 10 a.m. and 7 p.m. Friday at Woodland Hills Mall in Tulsa or during the same hours on April 12 at Penn Square Mall in Oklahoma City.
Many other safety campaign events are planned over the next two weeks, including:
• Having the Interstate 40 SkyDance Bridge glow orange on April 8 in honor of the 61 Oklahoma Department of Transportation workers who have died in the line of duty throughout the department's history.
• A large display of remembrance ribbons honoring those same 61 workers will be on display in Lawton at the I-44 junction with US-62/Rogers Lane, where an interchange improvement project is concluding.