​Governor Wes Moore Proclaims April 17 ‘Go Orange and Highway Worker Appreciation Day’ 

WOODLAWN, MD (April 17, 2024) – One day after hosting the observance for this year’s National Work Zone Awareness Week at an event atop the I-695/I-70 interchange – overlooking the work zone where six highway workers were killed in a March 2023 crash – the Maryland Department of Transportation State Highway Administration is marking “Go Orange Day” today, Wednesday, April 17, and encouraging everyone to wear orange in support of work zone crews. Those participating are asked to post photos on social media and use the hashtag #GoOrangeMD in support of the effort.

Governor Wes Moore has issued a proclamation declaring April 17 as “Go Orange and Highway Worker Appreciation Day,” and Government House in Annapolis will be lit orange.

State Highway Administration employees show their colors for ‘Go Orange Day’
State Highway Administration employees show their colors for ‘Go Orange Day’

“Go Orange Day” is one element of National Work Zone Awareness Week, April 15-19, highlighting the dedication of roadway workers and focusing on the message that drivers must slow down, move over whenever possible and pay close attention in work zones. The theme for this year’s observance is: Work Zones are temporary. Actions behind the wheel can last forever.

Events for the week got underway Tuesday when Lieutenant Governor Aruna Miller joined Maryland Transportation Secretary Paul J. Wiedefeld, Maryland State Police Superintendent Col. Roland L. Butler Jr., Federal Highway Administration Associate Administrator for Operations Martin Knopp and other officials for an event on the I-70 bridge over I-695.

Other events for the week include a “social media blitz” Thursday, April 18, asking people to post messages in support of safety; and a moment of silence Friday, April 19, to remember those lost in work zone crashes – workers, drivers and passengers. Learn more here.

The Maryland Motor Vehicle Administration’s Highway Safety Office is launching a work zone safety marketing campaign featuring Governor Moore; Lieutenant Governor Miller; Baltimore Orioles’ All-Star Catcher Adley Rutschman; Orioles legend and member of the new Orioles ownership group Cal Ripken, Jr.; former Baltimore Raven Torrey Smith; and local news anchors.

The campaign will be featured throughout Maryland including billboards and other media. All Maryland Department of Transportation agencies will share work zone safety messages across their social media outlets as well, and the Highway Safety Office is continuing its Be the Focused Driver campaign to encourage motorists to put down cell phones, ignore distractions and give driving their full attention when behind the wheel. For more on work zone safety, visit and click on the Work Zone Safety banner. ​

What others are saying about National Work Zone Awareness Week

“We are reminding all motorists that we all have a personal responsibility to drive safely so more innocent lives aren’t lost on our roadways. Bringing awareness to work zone safety doesn’t stop after the week concludes, it continues all year long.”

- Chrissy Nizer, Administrator, Maryland Motor Vehicle Administration and Governor Moore’s Highway Safety Representative 

“As you drive through work zones, I urge you to stay vigilant, slow down, and move over when possible. These simple actions can make a significant difference in safeguarding the lives of those who work tirelessly to improve our roadways.”

- Bruce W. Gartner, Executive Director, Maryland Transportation Authority 

“Our work zones are filled with mothers, fathers, sisters, brothers, friends and neighbors. They are building a better, safer, world-class highway system and providing access and opportunity for every user. The highway is their office and protecting them must be a priority for us all.” 

- William Pines, Administrator, Maryland State Highway Administration 

“The men and women fixing our streets, highways and bridges are among the most vulnerable road users because their jobs require them to be on foot near oncoming traffic. We hope drivers stay alert so these mothers, fathers, sons and daughters who are America’s transportation heroes can do their jobs without incident and arrive home safely when their shift is over.”

- Shailen Bhatt, Administrator, Federal Highway Administration 

“It is hard to believe that just over a year ago, the crash on I-695 occurred. Though time does move fast, our memories do not, and we cannot forget what happened on March 22, 2023.  We are committed to working with all of our stakeholders to make sure that all highway workers arrive home safely each day.”

Michael Higgins, General Manager, Concrete General Inc. 

“Transportation incidents continue to be one of the leading causes of death among America’s workers. Understanding the risks and being vigilant about work zone safety not only protects workers while on the road but those around them. OSHA wants to make sure that employers know their responsibility to have policies in place for safe driving practices, including work practices and procedures that help prevent accidents and ultimately saves lives.”

Douglas L. Parker, Assistant Secretary of Labor, Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) 

“When you drive through a work zone, industry personnel and road workers place their lives into your hands. Your attention and caution stands between them and their safety. Work zone awareness serves to remind us of the dedication, hard work, and sacrifices made by construction workers, and how we can better protect their lives. MTBMA is dedicated to not only promoting safer driving awareness but also to influencing and modifying driver behavior through a variety of avenues.”

Michael Sakata, President and CEO, Maryland/Metropolitan Transportation Builders and Materials Association (MTBMA)