The Iowa Department of Transportation this week during National Work Zone Awareness Week honors two of its’ own who lost their lives in work zone crashes in 2020.
Lynn Wm. Roder – On Tuesday, July 21, 2020, Lynn, a 14+-year employee from our Ashton garage, was directing traffic in a construction zone on U.S. 18 near Boyden when he was struck and killed. He left behind a wife, two children, and their spouses, two grandchildren, and many family and friends.
Jeff Arbogast – On Monday, Aug. 10, 2020, Jeff, a 20-year employee from our Mount Pleasant garage, was in an Iowa DOT vehicle working on U.S. 218 near Olds. His vehicle was struck by a large truck and he was killed. He left behind a wife, three children, two grandchildren, and many family and friends.
Safety is at the heart of all we do. Whether it’s protecting each and every person using the transportation system or those on our own team, every task completed by an Iowa DOT employee serves the purpose of making transportation in Iowa safer for all of us. We are continuously working to engineer safer roads and bridges, create systems that provide warnings and better information that allow drivers to make safer and more informed travel decisions, and remind drivers of the important role they play through enforcement.
But the safety of Iowa’s roads is not just the responsibility of the Iowa DOT. We need every driver out on the road to understand the important role they play in contributing to or decreasing the safety of our transportation system in Iowa.
When you see flashing lights ahead, no matter what the source, move over or slow down. As the weather gets warmer, more of our team members are out working on the road, many times with very little buffer between them and traffic traveling at highway speeds. Whether they are patching potholes, repairing guardrails, or any number of other tasks, this is dangerous work. We train our teams to work safely, but we’ve seen a significant uptick in inattentive and speeding drivers. That puts not only our team but anyone on the road at higher risk.
If every driver would do these four simple things, everyone has a much higher chance of getting home safely at the end of the day.
- Buckle up
- Slow down
- Drive sober
- Pay attention
Remember, the decisions you make behind the wheel can literally mean the difference between life or death. By working together to improve safety, hopefully, we’ll never have to mourn the deaths of a driver, passenger, or one of our own due to a work zone crash.