Highway Flagger Killed by CarAuthor/Presenter: Mastony, Colleen; Higgins, Michael; Martin, Mitch
A mother of four working the midnight shift as a highway construction flagger was killed after a man charged with drunken driving slammed into her on an interstate entrance. Deborah Wead’s death highlights the rising number of workers killed in construction zones and the dangers of working as a flagger–a job that attracts women because it requires less physical strength but that comes with the increased risk of working near speeding traffic. The number of people killed in Illinois construction zones more than doubled between 1999 and 2000, from 17 to 38. Since then, state officials have mounted an aggressive campaign, putting up billboards, nearly tripling the budget for state police patrols and handing out coloring books about safety at county fairs. In January 2003, the state increased the minimum fine for speeding in a work zone from $150 to $200 for a first offense. And this month, Gov. Rod Blagojevich signed a bill that allows speeding drivers who kill a construction worker to be charged with reckless homicide and face 3 to 14 years in prison.
Publisher: Illinois Road and Transportation Builders Association
Publication Date: July 30, 2003
Topics: Crash Reports; Flagging; Laws and Legislation; Temporary Traffic Control; Worker Safety