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The Kansas Department of Transportation launched the "Give 'Em A Brake" traffic safety campaign in 1993 to increase awareness of the dangers highway workers face in construction and maintenance projects. The need for a safety campaign was apparent then, and continues to be a priority for the agency. In 2006, 14 people killed and 657 people were injured in work zone crashes in Kansas.
Through this program, KDOT and the Kansas Highway Patrol work together in an effort to target designated work zones and increase enforcement across the state. This partnership helps to remind motorists of the ongoing need for safety in work zones. In 2006, the KHP issued 2,310 citations and 2,283 warnings to motorists just in these targeted work zones. The Kansas Legislature passed a law during the 2000 session to help protect the lives of law enforcement officers and other emergency responders routinely working alongside Kansas' roadways. An updated law, known as the Kansas Move Over law, was passed in 2006. It requires motorists to slow down and move over if it is safe to do so for all stationary authorized vehicles engaged in work along the highway and displaying flashing lights, including highway maintenance vehicles.
Public awareness efforts include attending local and statewide events to promote work zone safety, issuing news releases throughout the year, and distributing promotional items for statewide and specific construction projects. KDOT also posts information on the agency's Internet Web site and sends electronic news releases to all media in the state, keeping the public alert of highway projects affecting traffic. For major construction projects, "Give 'Em a Brake" signs and "Fines Double in Work Zones" signs are installed. A Kansas survey on signs recently found that Give `Em A Brake signs are one of the most recognized signs in the state.
Kansas has used components of the nationally-recognized "Give 'em a Brake" work zone safety campaign and they have created some of their own materials, including radio spots and a driver education curriculum.