Move over for workers

Scott Thompson, KTA Assistant Foreman, shares his scary, personal story about an incident in a work zone October 2014.

It was October 28, 2014. I remember it was around lunchtime and it was a nice, bright sunny day. We were working on patching a part of the road at mile marker 204. The road was down to one lane on the outside. To keep safe, we had a crash barrier with an arrow board on the back of a truck to signal to drivers we were around.

The wind was breezy that day, so I let a car pass by - I didn’t want it to get asphalt on it. Then I stepped out on the divider line. I saw another car coming, and I believed I was making eye contact with the driver. The next thing I knew, that car swerved over and hit the cone just in front of our barrier truck. I yelled, “Look out!” and rushed two steps back. The car went down into that hole where I was standing! The driver came out of the hole and just barely missed our other truck. She took out more cones while she fled the scene.

Fortunately, we were able to call it in to troopers who caught up with the driver later down the road, thanks to the good description a fellow co-worker got of the vehicle and the driver. We later learned that she admitted to the trooper she fell asleep at the wheel.

If I hadn’t seen that vehicle, it’s likely I wouldn’t have gotten out of the way in time. My co-worker who was on a truck would have most likely been hit as well. I guess it just wasn’t my day to die, and I’m grateful for that!

If you’re driving through a work zone, remember to slow down and pay attention. Move over for workers. When you see those arrow boards telling you to move over, do so immediately, not later. Workers put their lives at risk making the roads better for you.


  1. Anonymous3/26/2015

    You underscore not only the need for drivers to remain alert and focused at work zones, but for those in the work zones to be completely aware of their surroundings at all times. So glad you were safe and that the driver was apprehended.

  2. Anonymous3/26/2015

    The old saying is "it takes a village for raise a child" but the transportation safety application of that is that we all must work together to keep workers safe. From the communicators who turn on the message signs alerting travelers to a work zone ahead to the LEO who patrol the work zones to the workers and travelers themselves, we all have a role in making sure work zones are safety zones.
    I'm very thankful that everything turned out alright in this incident! Way to stay alert!

  3. Anonymous3/26/2015

    Thank you for your blog Scott. KDOT, KTA and contractor workers risk their lives every day in work zones. It's important to get the message out about work zone safety and thank you for taking to time to write about your experiences. I'm trying to make it a habit to put the cell phone away while driving and it's not easy to do. But reading these blogs this week just reinforces the need to be extra alert in work zones. I'm preaching to my family and friends as well. Be safe out there!