MDOT warns driving reckless through work zones can be deadly

Local News

Monday marks the start to the annual Work Zone Awareness Week where MDOT cautions drivers going through work zones.

Driving on a busy highway can be dangerous, but imagine having to work just a couple feet away from those same speeding cars. So MDOT wants drivers to know the rules.

What some call an inconvenience; others call their livelihood working within arm’s length of speeding cars.

“Those workers out there are somebody’s mom and daddy, somebody’s husband or wife, somebody’s daughter,” MDOT Commissioner Dick Hall said. “Or son and we want them to safely return home.”

Back in 2017 alone four MDOT road workers died while on the job, something Commissioner Hall says is always caused by careless distractions.

“Slow down, watch for the flaggers, read the signs and again put down that telephone,” Hall urged. “That’s probably a bigger problem right now than anything else about folks not paying attention when they’re driving down the highway.”

One MDOT worker on the company social media pages shared his experience when a driver nearly collided with him.

“A couple weeks ago I was on traffic control on Highway 49 and someone not paying attention talking on the cell phone decided to turn into the intersection where we were laying asphalt,” Doug McKinney stated. “Please people put your cell phones down and pay attention to the road. I’d like to go home and see my kids.”

For violators the penalties can be serious, but surprisingly a majority of deaths and injuries that occur in work zones are the drivers themselves and passengers.

For Tuesday MDOT plans to hold a memorial to honor all 45 of their road workers who’ve died working along highways. Another part of Work Zone Safety Awareness.  

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