Editorial: ODOT, all road workers’ safety always critical


A recent editorial by the Youngstown Vindicator:

Ohio’s 2022 Department of Transportation construction season is underway, and this year ODOT is attempting $2 billion worth of work on 829 projects.

Ninety-five cents of every dollar spent goes toward preserving existing infrastructure, according to a recent presentation made at the ODOT District 4 offices in Canfield. …

But while workers fan out across the Buckeye State to improve the safety of our roads, bridges, sidewalks and other infrastructure, it is important we keep the workers safe, too.

Last year, there were 4,796 crashes in Ohio work zones, 35% of them occurred with workers present. ODOT workers, vehicles, and equipment were hit 154 times last year. Thirty people died in those crashes.

“The men and women working on these construction projects are doing dangerous work. Motorists can make it less dangerous by paying extra attention, moving over, and slowing down when they see our crews,” ODOT Director Jack Marchbanks said.

Of course, this applies not just to Ohio Department of Transportation workers, but to all road workers — including local crews … and also from local townships and municipalities.

Lower speed limits in work zones are not there to inconvenience drivers. They are meant to keep both workers and drivers safe. It takes a good deal of nerve and faith in humanity to carry out your job while cars are whizzing past even at 55 mph.

The men and women toiling to improve our roads shouldn’t have to deal with those who disregard the speed limit and drive dangerously in work zones.

Marchbanks is right. Pay attention, slow down and move over if you can. Those in road-work zones depend on the rest of us to keep them safe while they get the job done.

— Youngstown Vindicator, April 17