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Wouldn't it be safer to remove signs when not working?

• Apr 15, 2018 at 10:00 AM

EDITOR’S NOTE: The following letter to the editor was written by Lawrence Cutting of New London:

Recent comments in the media about distracted driving reminded me of an incident several years ago while I was still working for Yellow Freight out of Richfield, Ohio.

I was dispatched to Charlotte, N.C., so I got on Interstate 77 and headed south.

Just south of Akron I notice a car passing me with just a driver in it and he had a newspaper draped across the steering wheel. Shortly after that, I was passed by an Ohio State Highway patrolman. I switched my CB radio to the channel normally used to speak with them and told him what I had seen. He asked me if the car was ever drifting out of its lane. I told him "not during the brief time I had observed it.” His reply was: "Well, maybe you should just mind your own business then.”

So much for "see something, say something.” But I do believe times have changed.

Also, several years ago I wrote a letter to The Ohio Motorist, the newspaper published by AAA concerning highway construction signs. My issue with these signs was and still is they are visible to drivers all the time, day and night, weekends and holidays.

They are put up and stay up until after the job is finished. I believe this leads to the “boy who cried wolf too often” syndrome. Drivers see all the various signs, men working, reduced speed limit in construction zone, etc. even when there is nobody or no equipment or no construction going on that after awhile they are ignored. So that when there is men working or construction going on, drivers don't pay any attention to the signs.

A case in point was the Friday before the New Years Day holiday weekend we left for Florida and all the way down I-77 and I-95 we saw these signs all weekend. If I slowed down as the various signs requested, we would practically get run over by other drivers. Construction companies are always posting signs "protect our workers" and so forth but they don't do anything about this problem. I'm sure it's about money.

It would cost them extra to have someone go along and cover or remove these signs every night and uncover them the next morning. However if a worker is injured by a passing motorist it won't cost them much because workman's comp will take care of the worker.

So I believe it should be written into the highway construction contract that these signs be covered or removed any time there is no hazard the zone. And, of course, this will cost us, the taxpayer, more money because the cost will be written into the contract.

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