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Building America means slowing down

With the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 creating new road construction and maintenance projects, as well as an aging infrastructure in desperate need of repair and expansion, work zones are beginning to appear all across this country. National Work Zone Awareness Week 2010, April 19-23, provides a good opportunity to think about the importance of the country’s highways and of traveling safely.

The trucking industry depends on the nation’s highway system to facilitate the efficient movement of goods safely and on-time. The road is a professional truck driver’s office and we take pride in delivering everything the nation needs to keep the economy moving.

Having a strong highway system is important because at this very moment, trucks are delivering life’s essentials — everything the nation needs such as food, books, clothing, electronics, automobiles and medical supplies. More than 80 percent of U.S. communities depend solely on trucking for delivery of their goods and commodities. In addition, forecasts estimate the share of freight moved by truck will only increase in the coming years.

This year’s theme for National Work Zone Awareness Week is “Work Zones Need Your Undivided Attention.” We could not agree more with this sentiment, because safety is our number one concern in the trucking industry. All motorists, including professional truck and bus drivers, need to focus on driving, avoid distractions and slow down.

Our highways are essential for the delivery of the products and foods we use everyday — and we need work zones to ensure that highways are safe and available for travel. During this week, take a moment to think about how important our nation’s Interstate System is, and take extra caution when navigating to and from your destination.

Let’s all drive to arrive safely.

Todd Bates, chairman

Mississippi Trucking Association

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