By Casey Simoneau

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



  1. Anonymous3/24/2015

    Thanks for reminding us that it's a family member that is out there working, and we need to give them room to work.

  2. Great reminder, Trooper Simoneau. I confess that I used to be one of those people who tapped my steering wheel impatiently while waiting to proceed through a work zone...or while wondering why traffic was so slow around a crash scene. Then I started reading crash reports, putting names with faces, and seeing the permanent results that came from people who were temporarily “inconvenienced.” You’re right: It just makes sense to let the people who make improvements to our roads (or those who enforce the laws on them) get home safely to their loved ones. When I drive through work zones now, instead of being impatient, I try to picture their families & friends, and how they would be affected if my driving caused them to be injured or killed. I also try to remember to allow enough time so if I do have to wait a few minutes, I can still make it to my destination on time. It’s a small price to pay, compared to the potential cost that could result from my impatience or lack of focus while driving.

  3. Anonymous3/24/2015

    You're right, it is a very small inconvenience to wait for a few minutes and be safe in the work zone. People need to keep the big picture in mind when driving. Thanks for sharing.

  4. Kirk Hutchinson3/24/2015

    I'm always amazed (maybe I shouldn't be) at how impatient and angry people can get over a relatively short delay. Thanks for the reminder that it's worth the wait.

  5. Anonymous3/24/2015

    I would much rather be delayed and have everyone go home safely. My son was killed in a KDOT work zone where all safety precautions were in effect. The driver who struck and killed him apparently did not see him. He did not come home. I wish every day that he had. Delay as needed. We all would benefit from slowing down and reflecting on the value of life rather than having to mourn the loss of it.