MN Construction Worker’s Online Rant: “Put the Phones Down”
With construction season upon Minnesota, a Minnesota construction worker has taken to Reddit with some personal perspective and stern words for inattentive or distracted drivers.
"I know nobody likes being stuck in construction while driving," he starts. "People speed through our work zones all the time, I see phones in hands so often it doesn’t even phase me, and non-emergency vehicles (this one really grinds my gears) are frequently pulling over on the shoulder for non emergency reasons."
He goes on to share how frequently he sees drivers pull over in construction zones to check their maps, texts or whatever and the dangers of doing so. The dangers don't just lie in those pulling over in construction zones, though; drivers who slow down too much are also a threat to themselves, other drivers and construction workers on the job. To prove his point, he shares a personal account of a recent accident on-site and the consequences it had.
"...we had an internal accident in the center median. A truck got too close to the edge and laid it on it’s side. Driver wasn’t hurt, but every Tom, Dick, and Harry had to slow down, stare, and take pictures of a sideways truck. This quickly slows traffic, backs it up, and causes more accidents."
In fact, two more accidents did happen the same day SRTmopar shares, and those ones resulted in injuries.
"I just want to put out some knowledge of our perspective when these things happen. No, we don’t want you to continue past us going 70 when the wrecker is flipping that truck. But 20? Come on..."
According to a 2019 OSHA report last year, there were 34 workplace fatalities in Minnesota between Oct. 1, 2018, and Sept. 30, 2019. About 38% of those -- or 13 -- were related to construction work including road building, drywall installation, roofing and landscaping.
Per 2019 Minnesota Statutes 169.14 SPEED LIMITS, ZONES; RADAR. Subd. 6a. on work zone speed limit violations:
A person convicted of operating a motor vehicle in violation of a speed limit in a work zone, or any other provision of this section while in a work zone, shall be required to pay a fine of $300. This fine is in addition to the surcharge under section 357.021, subdivision 6.
"Please," concludes SRTmopar's reddit rant. "Put the phones down and drive safe. We’ll get through this construction season."
Brush up on this summer's roadwork projects planned for Stearns County here.