Watch out for motorcyclists!

by J.L. Riedel
“These daytime running lights are so wonderful; they make my vehicle so much more visible to other motorists.”
“I just love my new car, it is so air tight and quiet; kind of makes me feel like I’m the only one on the road.”
“OMG, this thing is loaded with technology; I think my new car could practically drive itself.”
“I mean really; all I’d have to do is sit down with my cup of coffee and cell phone and let the car take care of the rest.”
If you have talked to or been around someone who has purchased a new vehicle recently, the above comments may sound familiar. And speaking from the standpoint of someone who is issued a new company car every couple of years, I’d have to agree with them. Today’s cars and trucks are superior to vehicles from years past.
Daytime running lights, although not required on vehicles in the United States, are pretty standard and do make vehicles more visible. I also like how quiet new cars are. I have a 40-year-old Pontiac that I’ve restored; and even with new weather stripping, the wind noise at highway speeds will give you a headache. And when it comes to technology, I’m not sure where to start. I mean really, there are cars out there that will park themselves. (Come on, man: if I had to learn to parallel park, shouldn’t everyone?) Ok, parking aside, we have cars that are loaded with technological features that require less and less input from the driver.
So far, so good, right? Well, not if you are a motorcyclist. Approximately 20 years before daytime running lights started to show up on vehicles in the United States, motorcycles were required to be manufactured with a “steady burning headlight and tail light” in an effort to make them more visible to the LARGER traffic in which they shared the roads. Now that these lights are commonplace, motorcyclists seem to blend in with other traffic and don’t stand out like they used to.
I like quiet. With two little kids at home quiet is something that is sparse, but quiet isn’t necessarily a good thing when it comes to driving. How about honking horns, the siren from an emergency vehicle, squealing tires, screeching brakes, or the sound of a motorcycle’s exhaust?
As a motorist, we gather a lot of important information about our driving environment from the sounds we hear. If our car is airtight and quiet, the radio turned up, or if we are so shut off from the world outside of our car; what are we missing, could it be a motorcyclist?
Finally, let’s talk TECHNOLOGY. No matter how technologically advanced our vehicle’s become, when it comes to safety, the driver is the most important safety feature the vehicle has. It is truly up to the driver to take an active part in the safety of the trip; whether across town, or across country.
So as a motorist and motorcyclist, I am greatly concerned when I see driver’s putting all their faith in their high-tech modern vehicles and not in their own driving skills.
Look twice, save a life, motorcycles are everywhere.

J.L. Riedel is a Technical Trooper with the Kansas Highway Patrol 

Close Call

by Robert Turner
The day started out as any other day in September 2004. As an Equipment Operator for the Kansas Department of Transportation in the Kansas City metro area, my duties were to operate equipment and be the lead worker on my crew.
At about 10:30 that night after a normal day at work, I was called by my supervisor to assist the Kansas Highway Patrol with traffic control for a serious injury accident. My duties were to close a ramp at the interchange of two major interstates. After setting my equipment up to close the ramp everything seemed to be going well.
After about an hour I noticed a vehicle not wanting to obey all the traffic control. After a few moments, I determined that the driver was not going to stop and they crashed through my cones. I dove out of the way and the vehicle struck my legs as I was in mid flight, catching the inside of my left leg with his front passenger side fender.
The vehicle continued up the ramp almost striking several patrol officers. After a short chase, they were able to catch the driver. He was very drunk, almost twice the legal limit.
I was not seriously hurt, just some bumps and bruises, but it was very scary. It just shows the level of safety we must all take when working on or near the roadway.
I have told this story many times, but if I can get one person to not drink and drive, it will be all worth it.

Robert Turner is the Highway Maintenance Supervisor in Olathe

Truck drivers - the road is their office

by Bill Graves
For most Americans, including Kansans, our roads and highways are the space between our homes and the stores where we shop, the places we work or the friends and family we love. However, for America's 3.2 million professional truck drivers, the road is their office and for much of the time, their home.
Truck drivers, as much as anyone, appreciate the need to be safe on the road - to follow at safe distances and travel at safe speeds etc. - but our industry is aware of the need to do more.
We at the American Trucking Associations have led the charge for all trucks to be electronically governed at 65 miles per hour, and for there to be a national speed limit of 65 for all vehicles. We've asked the government to set crashworthiness standards for large trucks and we've supported efforts to require that driver's hours-of-service be monitored electronically to combat fatigued driving.
Beyond that, we spend a lot of our time trying to educate the public about how to share the road with large trucks. We understand that drivers of smaller vehicles may be intimidated by the tractor trailer in the next lane, so through our Share the Road and America's Road Team programs we try to put people at ease, telling them to avoid a truck's blind spots and how to responsibly pass a rig that takes a lot longer to stop than the car that just zipped in front of it.
The good news is, these efforts appear to be working. Based on the most recent federal statistics, truck-involved crashes and fatalities have fallen to historic lows. This is good news, not just for the industry, but for all motorists. This isn't to say that more can't be done - responsible members of the industry are pushing federal government to do more to keep unsafe drivers and companies off our roads, and every day, fleets are doing all they can to avoid crashes and improve their safety record.
Through those efforts, and the efforts of law enforcement at the state and federal level, we can all look forward to a day when we've put the brakes on fatalities and our roads are a safer place for all of us.

Bill Graves is the President and CEO of the American Trucking Associations 

Safety Message for Everyone

Coaches from Wichita State University are big supporters of traffic safety efforts to reduce fatalities on our roadways. They expect the best from their players during every game as well as every time they get behind the wheel.
Following are some safety messages WSU coaches want everyone to keep in mind.
Nobody likes to celebrate a Shocker victory as much as my team and me, but celebrating a win should not include drinking and driving. We love seeing you at Charles Koch Arena and want to see you for years to come, so please don’t drink and drive.
Coach Greg Marshall, men’s head basketball coach at Wichita State University

I would never let a player step in the batter’s box without wearing his batting helmet. Not wearing your seatbelt when you drive or ride in a car is just as dangerous. Remember, in Kansas, it’s click it or ticket.
Coach Gene Stephenson, head baseball coach at Wichita State University

I expect my players to focus hard every time they hit the court and I expect them to focus just as hard when they are behind the wheel. Texting while driving is illegal and extremely dangerous, so keep your hands on the wheel and your eyes on the road.
Coach Chris Lamb, head volleyball coach at Wichita State University

My players go through hours and hours of practice before they see the court in a game. Your teen needs just as much practice behind the wheel with parental guidance before they are ready to hit the streets on their own. Make sure your kids have plenty of practice driving before they get behind the wheel.

Coach Jody Adams is the head women’s basketball coach at Wichita State University. 

Scanning For Animals Helps Avoid Collisions

by Mike Miller
When I was a boy, it wasn’t uncommon for the whole family to jump in the car and take a Sunday afternoon drive through the back roads of Kiowa County. While it was a way to relax and see the countryside for the rest of the family, my goal was to see wildlife. I was specifically looking for pheasants and scouting for the coming fall hunting season. As I got older and began hunting with high school friends, we always had a running competition to see who would be first to spot wildlife. Unfortunately, one of my friends had eyes like an eagle, and he usually won, but I kept trying.
I believe my habit of keeping an eye out for wildlife has helped me avoid countless vehicle collisions. I’ve had some close calls, but I’ve never hit a deer or other large critter while driving. I’m always scanning the roadsides ahead, pointing out any deer, turkeys, pheasants, or other wildlife I see to my wife, who humors me and pretends to be pleased with my sightings.
Watching for wildlife is a good habit to learn. While I’m sure my vision has probably deteriorated some, my ability to see wildlife has actually improved. I’ve learned that it wasn’t as much my friend’s 20/15 vision that helped him spot critters as it was his technique. He saw color, movement or reflection, and focusing in on that spot often revealed an animal. I’ve also learned to be extra-alert in certain areas such as stream crossings, tree lines, feed fields and water sources. And I know if I see deer in an area, I’ll likely see deer there again.
At night, I use my bright lights as much as possible. Headlamps on recent model vehicles provide an amazing amount of peripheral light along the road ahead. Deer eyes are highly reflective, especially if you have your brights on. If I see even the tiniest glint of a reflection, I let off the gas, slow down and scan the area more carefully.
I have no doubt that my wildlife watching habit has also helped me avoid accidents with other vehicles. You have to scan far ahead if you want to be first to spot a critter, and this habit gives me more time to react if I see a problem.
Try it next time you drive. Propose a friendly wildlife spotting competition with whoever is in the car with you. Not only will you be more alert, you’ll likely avoid an accident and keep wildlife alive. A dead critter on the shoulder is such a waste. And besides, watching for and keeping track of the wildlife you see will make any long drive go by more quickly.

Mike Miller is Chief of the Information Production Section for the Kansas Department of Wildlife and Parks

DUI 2011: A Matter of Public Safety

By Sen. Tim Owens
No matter how the public might perceive the issue of DUI, it can be summed up as a public safety issue.
Approximately five years ago, it became apparent that the DUI program in Kansas was broken and needed to be fixed. The journey to Senate Bill 6, which passed with 100% of the vote in both houses of the Kansas Legislature in May of this year, began with a report done by the Substance Abuse Policy Board (SAPB). The SAPB was formed after it became apparent that too many people were driving on the roadways in Kansas with multiple DUIs on their record but had had little or no corrective or rehabilitative action taken to cause them to alter their behavior.
When the public became aware of such incidents as the one in Wichita where a mother and her daughter were killed by a driver who had had over a half-dozen DUI convictions and was still driving, pressure mounted on the legislature to take action. The SAPB report was scathing in its condemnation of the manner in which DUIs in Kansas were handled. In response, I was appointed as vice-chair of the House Corrections and Juvenile Justice Committee to chair a subcommittee to explore legislative measures to address the concerns of the SAPB.
Valuable information was received from a variety of disciplines that dealt in some manner with the DUI offenders. From those committee hearings came a decision three years ago to form a Blue Ribbon DUI Commission which was to do an extensive investigation into the problems and recommend potential solutions to improve public safety by reducing the numbers of DUI offenders on Kansas roadways. That task was accomplished with the recommendations that resulted in the passage of Senate Bill 6 in the 2011 session.
The major accomplishments in Senate Bill 6 were those that addressed some of the core needs for rehabilitating the weak DUI system in Kansas and are major accomplishments in their own right toward strengthening public safety. Two primary achievements of the new law, which went into effect July 1, 2011, are:
● Thanks in no small part to the Secretary Deb Miller of the Kansas Department of Transportation, coming to the financial rescue of the issues surrounding the implementation of a Central Repository through a Memorandum of Understanding with the KBI, that repository will be implemented. It will be the central resource that allows prosecutors and courts to have a clearer idea of how many DUI’s an individual offender may have so that appropriate prosecution and sentencing may ensue. It is the hope that through this program and the requirements of Senate Bill 6, there will be a uniform application of the law and sentencing across the state in every jurisdiction and in every court, whether District or Municipal.
● The new law addresses the issue of public safety by requiring all DUI offenders to have an ignition interlock device installed on their own vehicle and no offender will be allowed to drive any vehicle that does not have an interlock devise installed.
It is the sincere hope of the DUI Commission and the Legislature that the changes brought about by Senate Bill 6 as a result of the extensive work done by the DUI Commission will put the State of Kansas back on the road to safer highways and a reduction in the number of DUI’s.

Tim Owens is the Kansas Senator for the 8th District

Have a perfect record with buckling up

by Bill Self
Young people need encouragement and guidance to help them along the path to a successful future. Whether it’s in school, on the court or in a vehicle, there are basic rules that can help you accomplish your goals.
When you’re in a vehicle, buckling up is such a simple thing, but it can truly be the difference between life and death.
We’ve all gotten much better about buckling up in the last 30 years or so. I remember when I was growing up in Oklahoma, the importance of wearing them just wasn’t stressed yet. We didn’t think much about wearing seat belts in those days.
Unfortunately, wearing a seat belt is still not a habit for everyone. Some adults still do not buckle up, but what’s even more frustrating is that even more young people don’t wear seat belts. When you’re on the court, you always go for the best shot. And when you are in a vehicle, your best shot at surviving a crash is buckling up.
The good news is that over time, more people are changing their behaviors and making buckling up a habit. It’s important that we as adults set good examples and that we never stop providing guidance and setting boundaries on what’s acceptable.
There aren’t many things in life for which we can have a perfect record. We can’t make every shot, we can’t win every game, but we certainly can buckle up 100 percent of the time.

Bill Self is the men’s head basketball coach at the University of Kansas

Seat Belts Save Lives!

By Candice Breshears
The Kansas Highway Patrol has always been concerned with seatbelt usage and occupant protection in motor vehicles. In fact, it is one of the primary missions of the Patrol to keep motorists in Kansas safe by making sure that they are properly restrained. Troopers not only make sure that vehicle occupants are wearing their safety belts, but they always wear them as well.
Most of you have heard this message from a young age--from your parents, news media, your driver’s education instructor or law enforcement: “The first thing you should do when you get in a vehicle is buckle your safety belts.” It has been the law for over 20 years and now is a primary law, meaning you could be stopped simply for not wearing your safety belts.
Everyone tells you to buckle your seatbelt when you are driving down the road, but what about when you are stopped on the shoulder? What if your car breaks down, you have a flat tire, run out of gas, have been involved in a collision, and are on the shoulder, or you are simply stopped making a phone call? Should you still wear your seatbelt while you are parked? My answer to this question is yes!
Let me tell you a story about seat belts saving my life on January 10, 2011.
January 10, 2011, was a miserable day to be working the KC Metro area. It was snowing heavily most of the day, and the roadways were snow and slush-covered. I was parked on the northbound shoulder of I-35 near Olathe in Johnson County working a one-vehicle traffic crash. The driver involved in the crash and I were sitting in my patrol car while I completed the crash report and waited on a tow truck to arrive for his vehicle. I was wearing my seatbelt.
As a Trooper, we are trained to be aware of our surroundings. As we sat in my patrol car, I looked in my rear view mirror, and observed a van in the center lane attempting to pass a semi truck that was in the left lane (this is a six-lane highway, three-lanes each north and southbound). The semi truck was a fully-loaded car hauler. As I watched, the van lost control and began to slide towards the semi truck on the slick roads. The van struck the semi truck, which caused the semi truck to lose control and slide straight towards my patrol car. A crash was imminent!
I placed my car in drive, and tried to drive away from the impending collision. I was able to move my car about 5-6 feet before the impact. The semi truck, traveling a normal highway speed, struck the left rear of my patrol car. The trunk of my car was pushed into the rear seat area, with the sharp corner of the trunk lid only a few inches behind my head. My car struck the vehicle I had been working the original crash scene on, then spun several times. The semi truck overturned right behind where my vehicle stopped spinning in the ditch. My passenger and I received only minor injuries. I know for a fact--seat belts save lives!
There are lessons to be learned here:
1.) Wear your seat belts!
2.) Be aware of your surroundings!
3.) Be prepared to react!
4.) When driving in inclement weather, SLOW DOWN!
5.) Always move left and slow down when you approach a law enforcement officer on the side of the road! (They are doing a dangerous job, with the safety of all motorists being their main concern.)

Candice Breshears is a Kansas Highway Patrol Trooper

Common Sense Choices

By Jim Massey
I have worked as a locomotive engineer for over 22 years and I have had several train vs. car, truck, tractor and even pedestrian collisions and many close calls.
To give you an idea of what it feels like from my perspective, imagine it's the middle of winter and the roads are covered in snow and ice. The car in front of you stops and as you push on your brakes, you realize you are on ice and sliding. Your heart jumps in your throat and you hold your breath for a few seconds till you come to a safe stop.
If I am in an emergency situation and have to "slam" on my brakes, that heart in your throat feeling and holding your breath lasts for several minutes as it takes the average freight train over a mile to stop from 55 mph.
Unfortunately this has happened numerous times, but one emergency situation stands out. It all began on a cool foggy Thanksgiving morning. My crew and I were heading home and were happy that we were going to be home for a holiday meal with our families.
About 30 miles into our 150-mile run, we start climbing a hill that had patchy fog, so we had some spots where we couldn’t see. As we round a curve, we see a man walking up the rights-of-way road next to the tracks waving his arms at us. As we called our dispatcher to report a trespasser on the railroad property, the fog cleared a little more and we could see a pickup truck sitting across the tracks. I placed the train into an emergency stop, but we knew we wouldn't get stopped in time.
At this time, there are a million things going through your head with the strongest being I hope I don't kill somebody. As we impacted the truck, a child's car seat flew out through the window and bounced off the nose of the train. None of us could tell if it was empty or not. Everything seemed to be in super slow motion as we came to a stop a little over a mile later.
The truck was still stuck to the nose of the train and we rushed out to see if everyone was ok. To our relief nobody was in the truck. Our focus then turned to finding the child's car seat, and to our relief again it was empty. By this time, the guy we had seen waving at us came running up saying it was his truck and nobody was in it but him. That was a huge relief, but still in our minds we have already set ourselves up for the fact that we had been involved in a fatal collision, and on Thanksgiving Day. On top of that was the thought of that family having an empty chair at the table that night.
Those aren't feelings that just go away. Still, almost 18 years later, there is never a Thanksgiving that goes by that I don't think of that day. So please, please, please remember to stop, look and listen at all highway rail grade crossing intersections. I would love to meet you, but not by accident.

Jim Massey is a locomotive engineer with Union Pacific Railroad. For more information about railroad safety, go to

A Happy Ending

By Daina Hodges
Tears welled in my eyes and goose bumps crept across my skin when I heard his voice crack as the emotions began rising in his throat. The certified child passenger safety technician was sharing a story with me about a rollover crash which involved a mother and her young child.
The vehicle they were in ultimately came to rest on its top. Those first on the scene didn’t take time to consider the fates of those in the vehicle before they raced to provide help. The mother was clearly shaken and in pain but mostly worried about her child she could hear crying unsoothed by her efforts to provide comforting words. The child was found hanging upside down from his car seat.
Emergency responders removed the mother and child from the vehicle to find that aside from minor injuries (bumps, bruises, scrapes and scratches) they were both okay. The mother’s fears from the wreck and the thoughts of consequences that could have been were soon replaced by thankfulness.
Just a week prior to her crash she had made the time commitment to attend a child passenger safety check lane to learn how to correctly use her child’s car seat. She’d always been adamant about buckling the car seat into the vehicle but something about the way it moved when she put her child in and leaned when she turned a corner bothered her.
The certified technician at the check lane showed her how to lock the seatbelt to hold the car seat in tight and also discussed the fit of the harness on the child and how it needed to be adjusted. The mother contacted that technician to express her sincere gratitude.
The technician was clearly moved as he shared the story with me and the realization he may have saved a life and I, in turn, was also met with emotion and pleased to call him a hero.

Daina Hodges is the Outreach Coordinator for Safe Kids Kansas.

It Does Matter

By Deputy Rick Heinrich
Enforcing drunk driving? Enforcing underage drinking? Does it matter...? It does matter...
One cloudy fall afternoon, "Casey" had a few drinks. Casey was in Salina, but lived in Manhattan. Casey decided to drive home to Manhattan late that afternoon. Shortly after leaving Salina, he was stopped by a deputy for a seemingly minor and ordinary traffic stop. The deputy discovered that Casey was DUI and arrested him.
While Casey was being taken to jail, he complained to the deputy that he wasn't feeling too well. In a matter of 30 seconds, Casey had passed out, urinated all over himself, and remained unconscious. When Casey woke up, he was in the hospital and was in total confusion and complete disorientation. After Casey learned what happened, he realized that he would have wrecked if he would have still been driving, and who knows what might have happened if he would have passed out while driving.
Does it matter? It now does matter to Casey; he's still alive, uninjured and well.
On another summer afternoon, a high ranking local military official was headed home, ready to start his weekend off from work. As "Alex" was riding his motorcycle home, a car ran a stop sign right in front of him and there was no way to avoid the accident. After Alex's motorcycle crashed into the car that crossed his path, the driver of the car sped off, leaving Alex lying on the road, seriously injured. There were several witnesses to the crash, and mattered to them... they quickly called 911 and reported the accident and the car that sped off. As emergency crews were arriving to the crash scene and treating Alex, the driver of the car was found, still fleeing the scene. After the driver of the car was stopped, he was found to be DUI.
Does it matter? It mattered to several witnesses who helped in this accident. It also mattered to Alex, and he fully recovered from his injuries, knowing and appreciating that justice had been served to the drunk that caused him to crash.
In another event, "Chris" was a bright athletic high school student, and early in the school year, he was trying to fit in with a certain "prestigious" group at school. To fit in, Chris went to a pasture party where the "in" crowd was drinking beer late one weekend night. Chris shouldn't have been drinking...he was well underage. Chris' driver also shouldn't have been drinking, he was also underage...and he planned on driving. Not very far from where the pasture party had been at, Chris' driver crashed. In a dark country ditch, Chris died that night in the passenger seat of his friend's vehicle.
Does it matter? It mattered to his family...words can't even describe it. It apparently also mattered to the hundreds of kids who participated in his funeral and memorials.
Does it matter? Yes, it does matter. Please let it matter to you before it has to matter to someone else...

Deputy Rick Heinrich is with the Saline County’s Sheriff’s Office 

Strategic Highway Safety Plan: Vision Zero--Every One Matters

By Steven Buckley
Between 2005 and 2009, Kansas averaged 417 fatalities. That’s 2,083 dead people.
Who’s to blame? The road? The vehicle? The driver? The environment? Sometimes. It’s all very complicated and sometimes quite contentious. What’s not contentious, however, is that everybody wants to get from home to somewhere to back home safely.
To this end, highway departments have worked to make the traveled-way as safe and forgiving as possible, vehicle manufacturers have worked to make vehicles safer, the EMS (emergency medical services) community has worked to reduce response times, and cultural forces have made seat belts cool and drunk driving not. Fatality rates continue to fall almost every year. We've come a long way. But as of August 18, in 2011, 202 people in Kansas left home for the last time.
So how do we turn 417 a year to 400 to 365 to 208 to zero? How do we balance finite resources and successfully target our investments in traffic and highway safety? It starts with a plan.
In Kansas, that plan is our Strategic Highway Safety Plan, or SHSP. An SHSP is a coordinated and informed approach to reducing highway fatalities and serious injuries on all public roads. There are three keys to this statement: 1) It’s coordinated--multi-agency and multi-disciplinary 2) it applies to all public roads--state, city, county, township, and 3) this plan is not about reducing fender benders--it’s about reducing fatal and serious injury crashes. An SHSP is based on the 4Es of traffic safety: engineering, education, enforcement, and EMS. And finally, an SHSP is data-driven. Investments in safety should be based on real data meeting real needs.
In Kansas, we have created our SHSP to be a living document. The reality of change demands flexibility, and we want to be ready with strategies and resources. The SHSP is led by a multi-agency Executive Safety Council whose purpose is to champion transportation safety on all public roads in Kansas by developing and maintaining a SHSP that drives safety-related programs. Reporting to the ESC are Emphasis Area Teams whose purpose is to develop action plans for implementation of the SHSP. Support Teams for data, education, and local roads have also been created to assist the emphasis area teams.
Want more information? Or better yet, want to get involved? Visit our website at

Steven Buckley is KDOT’s State Highway Safety Engineer

A Horrible Day

By Kevin Palic
Sept. 11, 2007, started off as any normal day. My plan was to attend a meeting at Headquarters in the morning and go visit a project on U.S. 59 after the meeting. During the meeting I was notified that KDOT employee Ty Korte had been hit. I immediately called the other KDOT employee at the site and asked what was going on. He told me to get out here, it was bad, and that he didn’t know if Ty was going to make it.
The next 30 minutes were a blur, I just remember trying to get to the jobsite as quickly as I could. Maintenance crews had the road closed due to the accident, I told them who I was and proceeded to the site. I saw a group of contractor’s employees beside the road. They were all visibly shaken.
There were also several Highway Patrol vehicles at the site. I could also see a medical helicopter out in the field beside the road. I thought to myself, this is not good, but hopefully any medical attention needed will be available.
As I came around the front of the equipment, the magnitude of the accident hit me like a brick. Instead of seeing emergency personnel, there were two white blankets with bodies underneath of them. One of the bodies was on the shoulder and the other was in the middle of the road. There is not a more horrible feeling than wondering which one of these blankets is over Ty, and then being able to recognize him by his boot sticking out. It was difficult to deal with.
The other blanket covered a Dustrol employee Roland Griffin. Once your mind gets cleared of what it is seeing, I went to find the other employee that was at the site to comfort him and find out what happened. He was on the other side of the accident, and unfortunately, we had to walk by the bodies to get back to the vehicle. This was very difficult to do, to walk a coworker by his friend that was just killed in an accident.
I stopped by the hotel to clean out his room. I gathered all of his belongings and drove back to the office. I can't tell much about the trip back I was in a daze trying to believe what happened. When I arrived back at the office, everyone was in shock. We gathered together and said a prayer and then went to visit his parents. This is another situation that I hope no one has to go through.
This carelessness does not just affect the employees at the construction site. It deeply affects families, friends and the community. In our office, we still remember Ty often. We speak of him in ways that make us all laugh, such as how he would get excited during card games, or the dances he would do. He was a good employee and friend, and has been deeply missed.
Please drive through the zone as if it was one of your loved ones or family in the zone. You don’t want to have to go out there and choose which blanket your friend is under.
If that doesn’t work, just imagine that you were the driver that caused this and had to explain why it happened.

Kevin Palic is the KDOT Area Construction Manager in Seneca.

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A Tragic Loss

By Marissa Roberts
On September 12, 2010, I lost my husband of 28 years. It was the worst day in my life. He was riding his bicycle that Sunday afternoon when he was struck from behind by a drunk driver. To lose him so unexpectedly was a shock and extremely painful. He was very active and healthy.
These past 12 months have been very difficult, but I am so thankful for my faith, family and wonderful friends who have been there and continue to be there for me in so many ways. Still, my desire is that no other family experiences the horrific pain that my family and I have experienced due to someone driving drunk.
Tim's death has had a huge impact on my life. I no longer have my husband to talk to, to make decisions, to spend my days and nights with, to hold me and to go out with. We loved doing things together: going on bike rides, playing tennis, traveling, spending time with family and friends, going to movies or out to dinner, watching basketball games, attending church and church related activities, and going out for ice cream. How he loved ice cream!
Tim often brought me flowers “just because” and surprised me with trips. He always provided for our family and never missed any of our daughters’ games, plays, school activities or any other special moments in their lives. He was a family man, and after God, we were his first priorities. I miss his corny jokes, his touch, his voice, his advice, his financial wisdom, his great smile and laugh, and yes, even his overcooked pancakes and hamburgers. What I wouldn't give to eat one of those right now!
I miss not waking up next to Tim in the mornings and I dread going to bed alone night after night. Now he will not be there for the weddings of three of our daughters. He won't get to watch his grandchildren grow up--our fifth grandchild, Taygen Timothy, was born on December 26, but Tim didn’t get to hold him. We won't get to spend our retirement years together--we often talked about our future plans, hopes and dreams. We won't get to grow old together, and he won't get to do so many things he wanted to do.

Those who choose to drink and drive need to be held accountable. There must be severe consequences; otherwise, many more lives will be lost as a result of drunk drivers. It shouldn't take four or more DUI's for this to occur. Please, please, please NEVER drive drunk!