Slow Down and Go Around to Help Michigan’s Roadside Workers Stay Safe

Robin Creel hopes the death of her husband in 2012 will not be in vain. She is the widow of Consumers Energy journeyman line worker Jeff Creel, who was struck and killed by a vehicle while responding to a report of a downed power line near Jonesville.

SafetyRoadsideDemonstrating her continuing support for roadside worker safety efforts, Robin attended a special event today in Lansing to promote Michigan Roadside Safety Awareness and the need to Slow Down and Go Around.

As Creel and others looked on, Sen. Bruce Caswell (R-16) presented a proclamation declaring May 22, 2014 as Michigan Roadside Safety Awareness Day.

The event was scheduled to coincide with the Memorial Day holiday weekend as Michigan motorists prepare to hit the road with the unofficial start to summer. The state’s top utilities and others who work alongside those roads are reminding drivers to slow down in utility work zones.

“Working in and around roadways is often required by employees who provide electric, gas and telecommunications services, waste hauling, as well as those in the construction trade, and there’s no doubt this work presents a daily danger,” said Dan Malone, Consumers Energy’s senior vice president of distribution, operations, engineering and transmission.

  • In 2013, there were 4,080 construction zone and utility related crashes in Michigan, 10 of which were fatalities and another 107 serious injuries.
  • Public Acts 103, 315 and 464 are all related to driving safely in roadway work zones, and provide for penalties for those who don’t respect the zones, with severe penalties for those who injure or kill workers in these designated areas.
  • State laws changed in 2006 to double fees and criminal penalties for injuring or killing a worker in a work zone apply to all workers, not just law enforcement and road construction crews.