On Tuesday, April 8, Southwest District Engineer Becky Baltz, MoDOT Chief Engineer Ed Hassinger and Highway Patrol Lieutenant Dan Bracker gathered in Springfield to talk to reporters about work zone awareness at MoDOT's statewide news conference.
Baltz opened the press conference by thanking MoDOT's
partners and all the highway workers represented. In addition to MoDOT and the
highway patrol, local public works departments, emergency response, and law
enforcement were on hand to support the cause. She asked that motorists watch
out for everyone who helps keep Missouri moving, so everyone can go home safely
Ed Hassinger and Lt. Bracker took the opportunity to talk
about Missouri's "Move Over Law". The law requires motorists to move over one
lane and give extra room whenever they see emergency or roadwork vehicles on the
side of the road with flashing lights on.
"The law is simple," Hassinger
said. "If you see a vehicle with flashing lights on, move over and give some
room. If you can't move over, you are required to slow down and proceed
cautiously past the vehicles and workers."
Lt. Bracker said that in 2013,
the Missouri State Highway Patrol spent almost 1,800 hours on construction work
zone enforcement operations. They made 569 arrests and issued 637 warnings.
"The Missouri state Highway Patrol is committed to providing the safest possible highway transportation system for everyone who uses our highways,
builds our highways and maintains our highways," said Bracker. "We will continue
to make work zone enforcement one of our top priorities throughout the
Hassinger also discussed the future of transportation and how lack
of transportation funding will change Missouri's work zones.
focus is increasingly on preservation of the existing transportation system," he
said. "By 2017 our budget will fall well under what it takes to maintain what
we've got, and that could lead to the deterioration of highways across the
Regardless of the work taking place, the most important message
of the day was safety. When motorists pay attention and drive with caution
through work zones, that means fewer crashes, fewer fatalities, and fewer
injuries. Drivers play a key role in making work zones safe for everyone -