Sen. Bernskoetter, Missouri American Water talk work zone awareness

1 year 3 months 3 weeks ago Friday, April 12 2019 Apr 12, 2019 Friday, April 12, 2019 11:29:00 AM CDT April 12, 2019 in News
By: Garrett Jones, KOMU 8 Reporter

JEFFERSON CITY — Sen. Mike Bernskoetter, R-Jefferson City, and Missouri American Water teamed up Friday to raise awareness for work-zone safety as part of National Work Zone Safety Awareness week.

Bernskoetter recently introduced the "Move Over" bill, which requires drivers to proceed with due caution, reduce speed and change lanes if possible when driving through work sites. If a driver hits a worker, they could have their license revoked.

"Missourians should know what can happen if you're not careful in a work zones," Bernskoetter said. "Fatalities can, and will, happen."

In 2016, the most recent year of available data, there were 158,000 crashes and 782 fatalities in work zones in the United States, according to the Federal Highway Administration.

Those figures hit close to home for Travis Hanna, a Missouri American Water utility worker. A coworker was struck and killed by a distracted driver at a site he worked at last year.

"Our goal is safety," Hanna said. "Getting the job done is one thing, but safety is the key. We can set up our signs and cones, but we need the public's help to do their part."

Both emphasized the importance of Missouri drivers exercising extreme caution in work zones, no matter where they are or how familiar they may be with the area. 

"Drivers need to stay focused in work zones, especially in residential areas." Hanna said. "Just because you know the area doesn't mean that you won't get in an accident."

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