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KC Water Reminds Drivers to Stay Focused in Work Zones

Posted on April 11, 2016

(Kansas City, Mo.) – “Don’t be that driver.” That’s the theme for this year’s National Work Zone Awareness Week. The message is don’t be the driver who is distracted, speeding or not paying attention in and around work zones.

Every day, KC Water has workers on job sites across Kansas City. Their defense against drivers: signs, cones and their own trucks.

“My crew truck sits sideways for a reason,” says KC Water Utility Crew Leader James Coates. “It’s to block as much of the street as I can so that hopefully nobody will attempt to go around my truck to get past our work zone.”

James Coates’ passion for safety started several years ago after drunk driver smashed into a work zone. “He pinned one of the crew members against the back of the truck which caused the man to lose both legs.”

According to the Fatality Analysis Reporting System (FARS) there were 669 work zone fatalities in the United States in 2014. Distracted driving was a factor in 16 percent of those crashes. Speeding accounted for nearly a third.

Coates knows how quickly something can happen. “It only takes one oops for me to lose one guy or somebody get seriously injured if not killed out on this job site.”

KC Water asks your help to protect its employees and you:

  • Slow down – speeding is the biggest cause of work zone accidents
  • Put down your cell phone.
  • Pay full attention to the signs and activities within the work zone.
  • Merge or change lanes well in advance. Don’t wait to the last minute.
  • And, follow the signs.

“When you see these signs and cones out, they are out for a reason. That means that the area you’re entering into, it’s not safe for you to be there,” says Coates.

For more information, please contact Brooke Givens, Media Relations Coordinator, at or 816.513.0284.


KC Water maintains and operates water treatment and distribution systems, stormwater management systems, and wastewater collection and treatment systems for residential and business customers in Kansas City and for wholesale customers in the Kansas City area. KC Water is primarily funded by fees charged to customers based on their use or impacts on the three utility systems.

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