Work Zone Safety

Caltrans’ highest priority is safety. Caltrans employees repair and maintain California’s 50,000 highway lane miles, 12,000 bridges, 205,000 culverts and drainage systems, 87 roadside rest areas, and 30,000 acres of roadside landscaping.
Caltrans continues to increase its efforts to make highway work areas safer for Caltrans employees, highway workers, and the motoring public. Caltrans is focused on educating motorists about safe driving in and around works zones.  

What is a Work Zone?
A work zone is an area of a highway or roadway with construction, maintenance, or utility-work activities. A work zone is typically marked by signs, cones, barrels, channeling devices, barriers, pavement markings, and/or work vehicle. It extends from the first warning sign or flashing lights on a vehicle to the "End of Road Work" sign or the last traffic control device. A work zone may be for short or long durations, and may include stationary or moving activities.

What should you do when approaching a work zone?
Construction and maintenance activities close to the road involving workers and equipment can be very distracting. 
You should always:

Why is "tailgating" extremely dangerous in a work zone?
Most rear-end crashes occur when cars follow too closely. They do not have enough room to stop. You need at least 2.5 seconds to react and one second for every 10 MPH you are traveling. If you are traveling at 55 MPH in a work zone, you need at least eight seconds to stop.

What is the penalty for speeding in a work zone?
Fines are doubled in highway work zones.  They can easily total $1,000 or more for drivers who speed, drive aggressively, text, or are otherwise distracted driving through a work zone.

Why should you slow down when you don't see anyone working?
Physical hazards-such as traffic shifts or lane reductions-may be present. Obey the posted speed limit.

Highway Work Zone Facts:

For additional work zone information, please visit:

Federal Highway Administration:

Work Zone Clearing House: