Brett Blume

ST. LOUIS (KMOX) –  When “Barrel Bob” speaks, drivers listen.

At least that’s one possible explanation for a drop in fatal work zone crashes across Missouri during the just-completed summer driving season.

Jean Fuchs Olubogun, District Traffic Engineer for the Missouri Department of Transportation, says there were no fatalities in St. Louis-area work zones, either workers or motorists, despite major ongoing projects like I-44 at Antire and I-64 downtown.

“We can do everything we can in designing the work zone, and traffic control, and do everything we can to mitigate traffic impacts,” said Fuchs Olubogun. “But it really is the motorist travelling through the work zone that impacts what happens.”

MoDOT kicked off the 2012 summer driving season with a striking temporary memorial to the 130 state highway workers who have been killed on the job since 1932.

Fuchs Olubogun says they’ll be back in Jefferson City in 2013 to urge lawmakers to take more steps to increase safety for everyone on Missouri highways, workers and motorists.

“One of the things that came through legislation this year is that MoDOT trucks are now viewed as emergency responders in the Move Over law,” she pointed out.

But more work needs to be done, she added, pointing to last week’s death of a MoDOT roadside motorist assist worker who was struck and killed in Kansas City.

work zones 2012 Sees Improvements In Missouri Work Zone Safety

4/23/12-130 pairs of empty boots topped by 130 hardhats were on display during a Monday press conference to mark the start of National Work Zone Awareness Week in west St. Louis County. Each hardhat represents a MoDOT worker killed on the job since 1932. (KMOX/Brett Blume)


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