Safer in the Zone |
Live with That |
Move Over Lights |
That Guy |
Tim Johnson |
Scott Hansen |
What Have I Done
"Safer in the Zone"
Voice over: Five crashes. Every day. Five crashes a day. Thirty-five crashes a week. One hundred forty six crashes in a month. In Wisconsin’s work zones and construction zones, we average two thousand crashes and eleven fatalities every year. Two thousand crashes. That’s just too much. Too many.
Voice over: We all need to be safer in the zone.
Voice over: Right now, in one of Wisconsin’s 72 counties, somewhere over our 100,000 miles of roads, there are people working in a work zone.
A work zones can be a major construction area that lasts for weeks. And it can be minor, like a quick pothole filling operation.
A work zone can simply be where a snowplow or salt truck is driving with its warning lights on. Or a garbage pickup.
Bottom line: anytime you see road construction or maintenance signage, road maintenance equipment or vehicles, and especially the workers…pay attention.
Interview 1: Ernie Winters: Dennis was a great guy. I don’t know a single person who met him through his employment with the highway department that didn’t like him, that didn’t think of him as a friend. He loved his kids and his wife. He was a bit of a jokester and a prankster. He always had a smile on his face. He was always happy. On December 18th 2003 a county highway employee in Fond Du Lac County, Dennis Roeseler, was hit and killed by a minivan while he was working within a properly signed and set up work zone in Fond Du Lac County on US Highway 41. On the day Dennis was killed the work zone set up per the DOT guidelines just exactly as it should have been, and a driver, a little impatient, traveling south behind a large truck decided to try to get around the truck while still in the work zone, pulled into our work area, hit three cones and then struck Dennis going approximately 50 miles per hour. His body traveled roughly 60 feet before it came to rest. He died on impact. When we approached the scene we observed Dennis’ body being…was covered with raincoats by his coworkers. Obviously a very heavy pall of sorrow and concern and everybody was very hard to console. And it was horrible, just horrible. I hope I never have to see a scene like that again. We came very, very close that day to losing more than Dennis, probably 5 seconds from Dennis being hit there were 3 employees standing in that same exact location. And they only turned away from Dennis to get more material from the back of another truck. It was really a miracle that more people weren’t killed. I’ll never forget how difficult it was to tell Sue Roeseler, his wife and Sean and Heidi, his children that their father had been killed that day while at work. I hired Dennis, this had a deep impact on me and ever since then I’ve tried to get the message of work zone safety out to the motoring public. Imagine what it’s like if you do something like that, and you kill another person with your vehicle, how that would change your life. This was not a bad person, but he was driving through a work zone trying to get somewhere in a hurry and wasn’t paying attention and this is the result. He got his life back, Dennis Roeseler never did. People need to slow down in work zones when you see orange barrels and barricades take your foot off the gas, hang up the cell phone, and pay more attention.
Voice over: There are fines for breaking the law in and around work zones. For example, in construction zones, fines double.
Voice over: What you have to remember is really simple—pay attention when you’re in and around work zones.
Eliminate distractions, like cell phones, adjusting the radio and eating. Focus on getting in and out of the work zone safely, by slowing down, or moving over, or both. For those who work there. And for yourself. After all, the majority of crashes, injuries and deaths in work zone crashes affect the drivers far more than the workers.
Interview 2: Tim Johnson: On January 12th after 6:00 in the morning there was an accident scene that happened on 94 and I was closing a ramp down helping out so no traffic goes through. And the accident was cleared out and we started clearing out the ramp and next thing I know is I got hit. After the accident the first thing that I remember was being in a hospital in second surgery and my family telling me about what had happened. I had a month of inpatient and outpatient therapy. This happens to a lot of people my brother Deputy Kevin Johnson Milwaukee county sheriff’s office was involved in an accident from a gentleman who did not move over and hit the same spot. It was early in the morning with my brother when he got hit in traffic in lane one, close to the median and he realized a car was coming so he braced himself. This has totally changed my life because right now I’m behind a desk instead of being in a squad car. I get upset when I see somebody on the telephone, cell phone, shaving, drinking coffee, makeup, when you see a squad on the side of the road with lights on, please move over or slow down.
Voice over: According to state law, here’s what you do: you have to move over a lane if possible and/or slow down, if changing lanes is not safe when encountering emergency and maintenance vehicles; like a law enforcement vehicle, ambulance, fire truck, tow truck, utility vehicle or highway construction vehicle. If it’s on the side of the road with its lights flashing, you have to act.
Interview 3: Scott Hansen: When I was filling up pot holes cars they would go right next to ya, they wouldn’t move over then we would put asphalt down in the hole and they would swerve and move to lookout for the asphalt and swerve towards you more just so they wouldn’t hit the new asphalt. So they’re more worried about their car than the worker on the road. It was the third week of March, it was around noon time and my job that day was to clean sewer lines under Tenth and National and we had coned the whole lane closed and me and my coworker Butch, we had it all coned out and we just got out of the truck and we opened up the manhole and we were just starting to put the hose down the line, down to clean the sewer line and some person came through the cones and hit him and me. He’s had multiple surgeries to save one of his legs and he’s not walking too good right at this time. The truck is parked here, we had this lane closed off with cones going right here and she went, and there was a car here and a car here in this lane and she went right through our cones and hit us right in the back of the truck. The guy who was working with me was kind of like off the site so he flew off on the side of the truck and hit me in the back of the truck and pinned me between the car and the truck. The two cars stopped that were driving right next to her and they said that she never slowed down, never put on her brakes or nothing, so she hit me going 40 miles an hour, never touching the brakes. I came out and I was in excruciating pain and my brother was standing at the bed and then the pain was so bad I went out again. All I can remember is screaming at him to take off my shoes, cause it felt like my shoes were too tight on my feet and I was just yelling at him to take my shoes off. When I was in there I had surgery every other day for two weeks. Yeah, I go to physical therapy twice a week at Freighter, learning how to walk again. I just got the knees put on so now I’m learning how to walk with those on and it’s harder than anybody can imagine. Lot of time put into it, a lot of time and pain. I’m in pain every day. I want to just get back to normal stuff, you know, driving again and playing with my son, and you know take him fishing and you know, just get back in life again. Just drive safe, a car, it’s like a deadly weapon, you know it’s just like you can hurt somebody very bad or kill somebody with it. To this day I still think it’s a bad dream, never woke up yet that’s what I feel. ‘Til today I still think that way. That’s how I felt.
Voice over: Remember when you come upon work zones, pay attention. Put space between vehicles. Expect the unexpected. And watch out for signs, flags, lights, barrels, cones and mostly, people.
All across Wisconsin, we’re trying to get people to pay attention and eliminate distractions. Slow down, and move over when possible when you’re in and around work zones, construction zones and law enforcement vehicles.
It is about protecting people’s lives. Not just the lives of those who work on Wisconsin’s roads, but yours too. So please, let’s reduce crashes…and be safer in the zone.
"Live With That"
Sipping a cup of hot coffee. Choosing a song on your MP3 player. Blowing your nose. Eating French fries. Answering your phone. Checking your make-up. Digging for change in your pockets. Changing the radio station. Or even listening to this message. None of these…not one…nothing is more important than staying alert, slowing down, and moving over if possible, when you’re driving in a work zone, where penalties double. If you can live with that, everybody else can, too. A message from the Wisconsin DOT.
"Move Over Lights"
When we use our lights on the side of the road use yours, move over or slow down. Milwaukee County Sheriff’s Deputy Tim Johnson and West Allis road maintenance worker Scott Hansen have both been hurt by drivers that didn’t follow the law. So please move over or slow down when you see workers or flashing lights on the side of the road.
Are you "that guy?" That guy who tailgates. That guy who cuts everyone off. The guy who passes on the shoulder. That guy who doesn’t signal his lane change. That guy who blows past at 10, 20, 30 over the limit? Or are you "that guy" who doesn’t pay attention, slow down and move over if possible when driving through a work zone where penalties double? On behalf of everyone else out on the road, working or driving, don’t be "that guy." If you can live with that, everybody else can, too. A message from the Wisconsin DOT.
On January 12th after 6 in the morning when I was closing a ramp down and next thing I know is I got hit. This happens to a lot of people. My brother deputy Kevin Johnson Milwaukee County Sheriff’s Office was involved in an accident by a gentleman who didn’t move over. This has totally changed my life because right now I’m behind a desk instead of being in a squad car. When you see a squad on the side of the road with lights on, please move over or slow down.
It was the third week of March, the truck is parked here, we had this lane closed off with cones, going right here, and she drove right through our cones and pinned me between the car and the truck. I want to just get back to normal stuff, you know, driving again, and playing with my son, take him fishing you know, just get back in life again.
"What Have I Done?"
(Sounds of an engine idling softly as a driver stares through a cracked windshield )
(A car door opens and the door chime sounds softly as the driver exits the vehicle )
(Sounds of shoes walking on pavement as the driver walks toward the rear of his vehicle. Orange barrels and flashing lights of a work zone are seen in the background )
(Audio from an earlier cell phone conversation with the driver's wife plays) Hey babe, it's me, I'm running late. I just hit some construction and I'll fly right through it. See ya in a bit. Love ya. Bye.
(Dramatic music softly rises as driver comes to realize that he hit and possibly killed a worker in a work zone. Construction workers are seen in the background running to help their fallen comrade. The driver's pained expression shows that he realizes his inattention while driving through a work zone has just changed not only his life, but the lives of the worker, his family, and friends.)