eNews - May 4, 2011
Caltrans memorial draws hundreds; fallen workers honored
Did you know that every day, two highway workers’ are lost along the nation’s highways? Thankfully, that number is decreasing due to increased safety awareness, including California’s own Slow for the Cone Zone campaign.
But this does not diminish the lives already lost and the sacrifices made. On April 28 at the state Capitol, hundreds of Caltrans workers, union members, legislative officials, families and friends gathered to honor the 175 Caltrans workers killed in the line of duty. Most recently, Gary Wayne Smith, a maintenance leadworker, was struck and killed on Hwy. 99 near Chico by a drunk driver in November 2010. His widow spoke of his courage and commitment to his more than 32-year profession.
According to State Unit 12 International Union of Operating Engineers (IUOE) Director Tim Neep, a guest speaker at the memorial, “The Operating Engineers continues to work with legislators and legislative analysts, such as Tim Cremins, to pass new laws to protect Caltrans workers.” One such law, SB 240, otherwise known as the “Move Over Bill,” was passed last year, thanks to the union’s efforts. The bill requires vehicles to move over when passing a stationary vehicle on the freeway. If a lane is not available, drivers must slow down.
Stay tuned for an upcoming article in Engineers News highlighting the details of the memorial. Until then, Slow for the Cone Zone, as lives depend on it. Click on the images to see larger versions.