Colorado motorist targets work zone flagger, causes injuries

Updated Sep 3, 2016

Road Work signA Colorado man was arrested last week after threatening a flagger inside a Longmont work zone with his vehicle.

According to a report from the Times-Call, at 8 a.m. August 17, the Longmont police department responded to the report of an injury  at the site in the area of Emery Drive and Emery Way.

Workers at the site told officers the 35-year-old man drove his vehicle straight toward a female flagger to make her get out of his way and allow him to access the road that was under construction.

The stop sign was knocked out of the flagger’s hands, she lost her glasses and helmet, and her elbow was clipped by the car.

The police charged the driver with reckless driving and careless driving resulting in injury.

The Colorado Department of Transportation stresses the following safe driving tips for traveling through work zones:

  • Expect the unexpected – Normal speed limits may be reduced, traffic lanes may be changed, and people may be working on or near the road.
  • Slow down – Speeding is one of the major causes of work zone crashes.
  • Don’t tailgate! Keep a safe distance between you and the car ahead of you – The most common crash in a highway work zone is the rear-end collision, so leave two car lengths between you and the car in front of you.
  • Keep a safe distance between your vehicle and the construction workers and their equipment.
  • Pay attention to the signs – The warning signs are there to help you and other drivers move safely through the work zone. Observe the posted signs until you see the one that says you’ve left the work zone.
  • Obey road crew flaggers – The flagger knows what is best for moving traffic safely in the work zone. A flagger has the same authority as a regulatory sign, so you can be cited for disobeying his or her directions.
  • Stay alert and minimize distractions – Dedicate your full attention to the roadway and avoid changing radio stations or using cell phones while driving in a work zone.
  • Keep up with the traffic flow – Motorists can help maintain traffic flow and posted speeds by merging as soon as possible. Don’t drive right up to the lane closure and then try barge in.
  • Schedule enough time to drive safely and check radio, TV and websites for traffic information – Expect delays and leave early so you can reach your destination on time.
  • Be patient and stay calm – Work zones aren’t there to personally inconvenience you. Remember, the work zone crew members are working to improve the road and make your future drive better.