SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (KELO) — There is not a lot of space between people working on the side of roads and the traffic traveling past them. In a preview of tonight’s Eye on KELOLAND, we introduce you to people who are going to drive the point home about how small the space between work and tragedy can be.
Amber lights are supposed to serve as a warning for drivers.
“If there are any amber warning lights on a broke down vehicle or on a law enforcement vehicle or tow truck, the law does state that on a interstate or a multi-lane road of the same direction, people need to move to the furthest lane away from those lights, and if it’s on a two-lane road, they need to slow down to at least 20 below the speed limit, and then pass with care,” said Shannon Orth, senior trooper with the South Dakota Highway Patrol.
Orth says people need to look farther than just what’s right in front of them.
“People definitely cause a big hazard in how they’re driving because they don’t look down the road far enough to see the lights, so then they wait ’til they’re right to those lights, and then decide they can’t get over safely ’cause they haven’t given enough time to safely make a lane change,” Orth said.
If the car doesn’t move over, it poses a big danger to those stopped along the side of the road.
“And if people aren’t getting over, they’re driving within a few feet of these vehicles that are stopped on the side of the road, and we have had numerous times where cars have been hit,” Orth said.
For workers, distracted driving is a worry.
“And that’s not just texting and driving, but it’s any kind of distracted driving, so it could be adjusting navigation systems, talking on the phone, interacting with other people in the vehicles,” said Travis Dressen, Sioux Falls area engineer for the South Dakota Department of Transportation. “It comes in all forms, but all of it’s dangerous.”
Coming up in tonight’s Eye on KELOLAND at 10 p.m., we will share a couple of close calls people have experienced. We also set up two different cameras to show you just how close cars can come to workers.