The tragic death of two construction workers on 35W in Burnsville last week is a stark reminder of the dangerous business of working near traffic. Both men were working at a “safe distance” from the side of the road when they were struck and killed by a motorist who lost control of his car. Neither of the electrical workers had a chance to get out of the way.
As of Friday, no charges had been filed against the 21 year-old driver. Forever lost are two men in their forties; their widowed wives and children’s lives changed forever.
Construction zones have never been considered a safe place. Even when measures are put in place to slow traffic, erratic driver behavior can result in tragic outcomes. However, since MNDOT has begun its “Toward Zero Deaths” campaign, construction zone fatalities have declined.
Of concern, distracted driving is becoming more common. Just this past weekend I encountered a county patrolman driving half in the road lane, and half on the shoulder while he appeared to be looking at his on-board computer.
My teenage licensed daughter is not allowed to have her phone within reach while driving. I can only hope she follows that rule of mine all the time. However, like any of us, she does change her music selections. All it ever takes is a moment to glance away from the road. No driver is ever 100% distraction-free. Therefore, no work zone is ever 100% safe.
Whether working or driving, minimize distractions. And please, be careful.