Often times, I hear how inconvenient work zones can be. People complain that they add 15 minutes to their trip and the lanes are too narrow. I also hear that when there are no workers present, why should I have to slow down? All of these are complaints are minimal compared to the cost of not obeying the safety markings, signs or cones that are designed to keep the workers’ as safe as possible.
What may be an inconvenience to you may be the opportunity to go home for others. What exactly does this mean? This means that taking that extra time to slow down and obey the safety devices allows for these individuals working in the work zones to go home at night. The greatest gift of life that we are given is family. To me, a 15-minute “inconvenience” is a small price to pay to allow these families to get to enjoy more time together.
Yes, sometimes the lanes may be narrow, but this allows workers the most adequate space between what is potentially a deadly scenario and the ability to complete their job. Workers in an office or cubicle are allowed and expect to have room to complete their jobs. Why should highway workers be any different? They need their space as well. So yes, while the narrower lanes may be an inconvenience to some, it’s a safety barrier for others.
At times there may be no workers present during the construction phase. However, humans are creature of habits. The majority like to have the same habits day in and day out. Therefore, by continually enforcing the work zone safety laws, regardless of worker presence, allows a new habit to be formed by the motoring public and decrease the risk of injury or death to the work zone workers.
Finally, I want people to remember that each of these workers have family. Someone calls them mom, dad, aunt, uncle, grandma, grandpa, brother or sister. They have people who love them and care about them just like we do. These individuals deserve the opportunity to spend more time with the ones they love. So, the citizens who get the luxury to enjoy the great highways that are built from this labor should also respect the workers who work in them. Slow down, obey the safety signs/signals and allow for these highway workers to spend another night at home with the ones they love.
Casey Simoneau is a Technical Trooper with the Kansas Highway Patrol