NewsLocal News

Actions

Input sought on safety in highway construction zones

Review ordered after 6 workers killed in Baltimore Beltway crash
Construction zone .jpeg
Posted at 4:55 PM, Sep 21, 2023

GLEN BURNIE, Md. — Responding to a roll over on the Jones Falls Expressway back in December, Howard Bostick of the State Highway Administration nearly became a victim as well.

“All I saw was a van coming towards my vehicle,” said Bostick, “It hit my vehicle at 70 miles per hour.”

Three and a half months later, six workers would die when a pair of speeding cars crashed, sending one of them into their worksite on the Baltimore Beltway, prompting Governor Wes Moore to charge a special work group with the task of improving the safety around those sites and reducing crashes.

RELATED: I-695 crash leaves six people dead in Baltimore County

“In 2023, there were 804 crashes along Maryland work zones averaging three crashes per day,” said Lt. Gov. Aruna Miller, “That means for the people that work at these sites, it’s not a matter of if they will see a crash on their job site. It’s a matter of when.”

The work group is now asking Marylanders to take an online survey, which takes about two minutes, to help come up with some recommendations.

In addition to driver behaviors, speed cameras and law enforcement, the work group is also looking at safety protocols at the highway construction zones, themselves, meant to better protect the workers.

“State Highway Administration, on all of our construction projects, we require there to be safety inspectors on the site to make sure the maintenance of traffic devices and safety features throughout the project area are appropriate,” said SHA Administrator Will Pines.

Still, with accidents seemingly inevitable, literally everything is under consideration, including stiffer fines for those who choose to speed in zones where workers are relatively defenseless.

“All I’m saying is just beware,” said Bostick, “Help us help you.”

Marylanders are encouraged to take the work zone safety survey at ZerodeathsMD.gov/WZSurvey or at any MVA branch through October 12.