States Emphasizing Work Zone Safety

May 2, 2024
Illinois and Pennsylvania implementing laws and reminders

Officials in Illinois and Pennsylvania are attempting to move the mark when it comes to recognizing work zone safety in their respective states.

Illinois officials are working to implement a bill that will require high school students to learn about worker safety in highway construction zones. Officials said in a statement they believe future drivers should have the knowledge and understanding necessary to navigate construction zones with caution and respect to reduce the risk of accidents.

"It is important we protect the workers whether they're doing the work on the highway or doing the law enforcement or even someone along the side of the road with a broke down car trying to get things fixed," said state Rep. Dan Swanson in a statement.

Senate Bill 3151 passed unanimously out of the House Education Curriculum & Policies Committee Wednesday and now moves to the House floor. If the bill passes out of the House and is signed by Illinois Gov. JB Pritzker, it will take effect on August 1.

Also this week, the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation (PennDOT) Schuylkill County hosted an event to honor lives lost and bring awareness to work zone safety.

To honor fellow employees who lost their lives and urge work zone safety, PennDOT unveiled its Workers’ Memorial.

“Worker’s Memorial is based out of our District 3 office and travels around the state going to different counties and different areas to get the word out about work zone safety,” said Sean Brown, Safety Press Officer. “It's a good reminder this time of year when you start seeing a lot more works zones on the road, you're going to see a lot of construction starting up.”

“PennDOT has worked with our legislator to get several of our bridges renamed after our fall workers and we have several families in the District 5 area, Schuylkill County, Berks County, and Lehigh Valley that have been renamed for workers' families,” Brown said.

Thomas Rogal, Senior County Maintenance Manager for District 5 Schuylkill County says they have lost 3 employees in Schuylkill County who were all hit by motorists, related to work zone accidents.

“The safety of our employees is of utmost importance first and foremost what we do inherently has some dangers associated with them,” said Rogal. “We work with big equipment, heavy equipment, hot materials, that have some chemicals in them all those types of natures.”

“Everybody is busy in life, and we fully understand that but when you see those orange signs along the road away, you got to remember that those are your neighbors, friends, and relatives that are working right next to traffic. As close as I'm talking to you today is how close trucks go by 50-60 miles an hour.” Said Rogal.

Rogal says proper safety is provided for all employees and help from motorists is critical to keeping them safe as well.

The Workers' Memorial has 90 PennDOT workers who lost their lives in the line of duty since 1970



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