Sunday, March 18, 2012

Another reason for tougher work zone enforcement laws

For those who think enough is being done to toughen work zone enforcement, think again.

This took place in our I-26 work zone last night. The truck shown in the first photo entered the lane closure, reportedly traveling through about 1 1/2 miles of closed lanes after demolishing the arrow board shown in the second photo.

The first mile of a closure is ordinarily empty space, set up as a buffer zone with the understanding that some drivers will somehow miss two miles of advance signs, message boards, barricades, cones and flashing arrows.

But the next half mile had workers in it. Of three groups of workers, one was missed by mere feet.

Last time I looked, luck is not an OSHA-approved safety device, yet all too often, it's one of the few safety devices our workers have.

S.C. legislators were asked to support a proposal that would double penalties for moving violations in work zones and dedicate those proceeds just to defray the cost of work zone enforcement. Too often, our workers work with no active law enforcement because there is no money in the construction budget for additional police officers.

But why should money be taken from building roads to pay when offenders could pay? This also could give the additional benefit of being able to keep troopers employed after several years of budget cuts have hammered the Highway Patrol.

More discussion to come on this subject. Count on it ...


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