2010-04-30 / Top Stories

National Grid: Use Caution Near Utility Crews

Slow-moving traffic can frustrate drivers, but slowing down when approaching work zones is critically important to the safety of utility and other roadside work crews.

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, nearly 60 workers were killed in roadway work zones over the last three years in the states where National Grid provides electric and gas service.

National Grid reminds drivers to be conscious of the safety of utility crews working in their communities.

Although crews are trained in work zone safety, wear high-visibility clothing and also station cones and warning signs near work-sites, inattentive motorists can threaten the safety of workers.

“Every year, more than 700 people are killed in work zone accidents across the country,” said Chad Martin, vice president of safety at National Grid. “Work zones by their nature – whether set up to support utility company activities or road construction — require more attention from drivers compared to normal roadways.

National Grid urges motorists to use extreme caution in work zones, as inattentive or aggressive driving in these areas could literally mean the difference between life and death.”

National Grid offers motorists the following tips to maintain safety near utility crew work zones:

Slow down, stay alert and pay attention to the warning signs and traffic regulators.

Merge as soon as possible. Don’t wait until the last second. This will help to keep traffic flowing smoothly. Follow any and all instructions on warning signage. Keep a safe distance between you and the vehicle in front of you, as well as any traffic barriers, construction vehicles/equipment and workers.

Plan ahead – have an alternate route.

Have patience. National Grid personnel are working to improve the safety and reliability of our energy network.

Cutting off other motorists, traveling at high speeds and ignoring posted warnings all serve to further slow the flow of traffic and to endanger everyone in the area, you included.

Slow down immediately when you see indicators of roadside work in progress and always leave at least twoseconds of braking time between you and the car in front of you. A vehicle traveling 60 mph travels 88 feet per second.

National Grid is an international energy delivery company.

In the U.S., National Grid delivers electricity to approximately 3.3 million customers in Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New York and Rhode Island, and manages the electricity network on Long Island under an agreement with the Long Island Power Authority (LIPA).

It is the largest distributor of natural gas in the northeastern U.S., serving approximately 3.4 million customers in Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New York and Rhode Island.

National Grid also owns over 4,000 megawatts of contracted electricity generation that provides power to over one million LIPA customers.

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