Governor Justice orders additional road safety actions, enforcement after fatal construction zone crashes


CHARLESTON, WV – West Virginia is redoubling its ongoing campaign that urges motorists to drive safely through the growing ranks of highway construction projects, after a spate of tragic fatal crashes.

Governor Jim Justice on Wednesday cited how he, the Department of Transportation and West Virginia State Police have repeatedly cautioned drivers to remain mindful of work zone safety and avoid distracted driving. After several deaths along a stretch of I-64 in Putnam County, that message must now be amplified, Governor Justice said.

“We’re taking additional action to make sure that this construction will be completed in a safe manner and in a way that will benefit the public,” Governor Justice said.

The Division of Highways is already following all relevant federal or national safety standards. Governor Justice directed Transportation Secretary Tom Smith and State Police Superintendent Jan Cahill on Wednesday to go above and beyond those standards wherever possible while also focusing more strongly on enforcement.

“We need to do more,” Governor Justice said. “Our hearts go out to the families involved in these tragic accidents along the interstate. I have instructed Secretary Smith and Colonel Cahill to immediately look at what steps they can take to make sure we are doing everything we possibly can to make our interstates and work zones safe for all motorists as well as those working on the job sites.”

Construction workers have started appearing along West Virginia’s bridges and highways, working on routine maintenance and paving. Thousands more will begin soon on the array of improvement and constructions projects funded through Governor Justice’s successful Roads to Prosperity bond initiative.

Pledging their additional support, Secretary Smith and Colonel Cahill outlined an action plan Wednesday that includes assigning additional troopers to construction areas and enhancing safety warnings and signage.

“We’ve had emergency meetings with the State Police throughout the day, and are taking immediate action,” Secretary Smith said. “We have heard what Governor Justice has said, and we too pray for the families of those involved.”​

Contact Information

Butch Antolini,


Office of the Governor
State Capitol, 1900 Kanawha Blvd. E
Charleston, WV 25305

Office Phone:
304.558.2000 or 1.888.438.2731

Governor's Mansion:

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