Since the end of March, our region of the state department of transportation has experienced five work zone intrusions. A work zone intrusion is when a driver disobeys the flag person or signs and put themselves or workers in jeopardy. DOT Employee Safety and Health Rep Ed Roser says, "They can run into our machinery, they can run into our equipment, run into a ditch or a tree trying to avoid our people or equipment. It all stems from people not obeying the signs and the flag people"
Experts say there are certain tips to remember when approaching a work zone, first avoid distracted driving. Second, when you see orange signs like these remember to slow down and third when you a see a flag person remember they have the same authority as a police officer directing traffic. New York State Trooper Zone Sergeant Richard Misterka says, "You know you have to be aware of what is going on all around you when driving. You just can't take for granted that we look ahead and things look OK. Or when you look ahead and you see a work zone you don't see any vehicles out there, there may be something with the road that you don't see."
The DOT says the recent spike in work zone intrusions is cause for concern but the solution can be quite straightforward. Roser added, "Take every precaution to slowdown and look for flag people. We're always going to tell people what they need to do and what they need to do to be safe just heed our warnings, follow our directions and you'll travel through our work zones fine."