Lieutenant Governor Miller Honors Road Workers and Reaffirms Commitment to Work Zone Safety During National Work Zone Awareness Week

Published: 4/16/2024

ANNAPOLIS, MD — Lieutenant Governor Aruna Miller today joined the Maryland Department of Transportation, Maryland State Police, highway workers and transportation professionals to honor road workers and bring awareness to driving safely near work zones during the national launch event for National Work Zone Awareness Week. The event was held atop the I-695/I-70 interchange in Baltimore County – overlooking the work zone where six highway workers were killed in a March 2023 crash. In the aftermath of that tragedy, Governor Wes Moore created the Maryland Work Zone Safety Work Group, chaired by the Lieutenant Governor, and signed the Maryland Road Worker Protection Act into law. 

“Being at this location just a little more than a year after the tragedy and seeing where it happened is chilling,” said Lt. Gov.  Miller. “I was honored to serve as chair of the Maryland Work Zone Safety Work Group and work with Maryland’s transportation leaders to enact legislative changes to enhance work zone safety under the Maryland Road Worker Protection Act. Our efforts will help to change driver behavior and improve work zone safety, but we must continue the conversation and enlist all drivers to join us in making work zones safe.”

Lieutenant Governor Aruna Miller speaks at a National Work Zone Awareness Week event. 

The Maryland Road Worker Protection Act, implements the legislative recommendations of the Governor’s Work Zone Safety Work Group to protect Maryland road workers and initiate a culture change among motorists to adopt safer driving behaviors. The work group was comprised of transportation officials, law enforcement representatives, industry professionals and residents. The Governor also signed Maryland Protecting Opportunities and Regional Trade (PORT) Act into law, which supports businesses and workers who have been affected by the collapse of the Francis Scott Key Bridge. The bipartisan legislation creates a new, permanent scholarship program for the families of transportation workers who die on the job, and will allow for more flexibility in work search requirements for unemployment insurance. 

“Almost every day we see crashes or near misses in our highway work zones,” said Maryland Transportation Secretary Paul J. Wiedefeld. “Our goal is to build and maintain a safe, efficient and equitable transportation system that serves all users. To do that, we must work together to provide our dedicated highway professionals with the attention – and protection – they deserve.”

National Work Zone Awareness Week acknowledges the dedication of roadway workers and focuses on the message that drivers must slow down, move over whenever possible and pay close attention in highway work zones. This year, Maryland served as the host state with the theme: “Work Zones are temporary. Actions behind the wheel can last forever.” In addition, Governor Moore has proclaimed April 17 as “Go Orange and Highway Worker Appreciation Day” throughout the state.

After the event, vehicles from regional transportation partners participated in a Unity Ride around the west side of I-695, passing by the March 2023 crash site. 

Tonight, family members who lost loved ones in the March 2023 crash will join Lt. Governor Miller to throw the first pitch at the Baltimore Orioles-Minnesota Twins game. The families will then join both Governor Moore and Lt. Governor Miller for the game. 

“Our work zones are filled with mothers, fathers, sisters, brothers, friends and neighbors. They are building a better, safer, world-class highway system and providing access and opportunity for every user,” said Maryland State Highway Administrator William Pines. The highway is their office and protecting them must be a priority for us all.” 

MDOT Secretary Paul Wiedefeld speaks at a podium for National Work Zone Awareness Week. 

Each day in Maryland, there are 300 highway construction, maintenance and utility work zones with more than 1,000 workers. From 2018-2022, there were 7,193 work z​one-related crashes in Maryland – an average of 1,500 each year – resulting in 2,769 injuries and 44 fatalities. In 2023, Maryland had more than 1,200 work zone crashes, and there have been 250 so far in 2024. Maryland has experienced 14 work zone crew fatalities since the start of 2023.

“The Maryland Department of State Police is fully committed to safeguarding all who travel on Maryland highways, including motorists, pedestrians, first responders, tow truck operators and work zone crews,” said Maryland State Police Superintendent Col. Roland L. Butler Jr. “Changing driver behavior and preventing crashes, particularly in work zones, is paramount to ensuring the safety of highway workers and motorists.”

The Maryland Department of Transportation State Highway Administration continues to create and promote campaigns to raise awareness about safe driving in work zones. For more on work zone safety, visit and click on the Work Zone Safety banner.