The National Work Zone Awareness week was hosted by the Virginia Department of Transportation in April 2007. It was created in 1997 and was designed to improve work zone safety through engineering, education, enforcement and coordination with public safety agencies. Some of the participating groups include the American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials (AASHTO), the Federal Highway Administration, American Road and Transportation Builders Association and the American Traffic Safety Services Association.
Work zone fatalities have increased by 40 percent from 1997 to 2005, according the Federal Highway Administration. In 2005, there were 1,074 work zone fatalities. However, the rise in work zone has fallen in highway fatalities. In 1996, there were roughly 5.5 deaths per 100 million miles of travel and in 2005, there were 1.46 deaths per 100 million miles of travel, according to highway officials.
Some of the things people had done in the past during National Work Zone Awareness week were tying orange ribbons to their vehicle's antennae and driving around with their headlights on. Now about 46 states participate in the event.