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Caltrans Launches Statewide Safety Campaign

SACRAMENTO (KCBS) – Following the death of three workers over the last two months, the California Department of Transportation is launching a two-week campaign reminding California drivers to give those working on roadways plenty of room.

Caltrans District Director Bijan Sartipi said road construction and maintenance work is some of the most dangerous in the country.

"Nationally on average, nearly two work zone fatalities occur everyday or about one every 13 hours," said Sartipi.

Mark Balsi was hurt doing landscaping work over 10 years ago in the South Bay. He said that injury occurred after many close calls.

KCBS' Bob Butler Reports:

"You always try to look, but the next thing you know, you have a truck going by that takes your mirror out right off your vehicle," said Balsi.

The Caltrans campaign will include hundreds of billboards and signs with the message, "Slow or Move Over for Workers, It's the Law" posted on each one. Public service announcements will also be aired reinforcing the "Move Over" message.

Sartipi said that there are a few precautions drivers can take when traveling on the road.

"Reduce your speed, allow extra following room, expect sudden stops, avoid distractions, never drive impaired and move over a lane when it's safe if you see flashing lights on the side of the road," Sartipi said.

Since 1924, 178 Caltrans workers have lost their lives in the line of duty.

(Copyright 2011 by CBS San Francisco. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)

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