CT: New law created to protect highway workers

Mugford, a state Department of Transportation employee, died after being struck by a limousine while working on Route 7 in Norwalk. Three years later, Kathy Mugford just wants to spare one family the pain that her family suffered.

And, thanks to a bill recently signed into law by Gov. M. Jodi Rell, it's a prayer that might be answered.

From ConnPost.com (excerpted 6/5/08):

This week, Rell announced that she'd signed off on legislation that creates stiffer penalties for drivers who speed and commit other traffic violations in work zones. The new law also creates a Highway Work Zone Safety Advisory Council, which will make ongoing recommendations to improve safety in work zones. The law takes effect October 1. Kathy Mugford has long known the dangers that DOT workers like her husband face from speeding traffic, and has been pushing for the legislation for nearly a year. "I can't tell you how relieved I was," she said when she learned that the struggle was finally over. "If it helps if one person, it will be worth it."

The highway safety bill was drafted last summer by the Connecticut Employees Union Independent and the Legislature's Transportation Committee. The employees union represents 4,500 state maintenance workers and about 1,500 of them work for the DOT. The law creates two new offenses — endangerment of a highway worker and aggravated endangerment of a highway worker.

Offenses that would fall under the category of endangerment include speeding in a work zone and failure to obey traffic signals in a work zone. The aggravated endangerment charge applies to offenses in which a worker is seriously injured or killed.

A conviction of endangerment of a highway worker carries a fine of up to $1,000 and an aggravated endangerment conviction would result in a $5,000 fine, if the worker is injured, and $10,000 if the worker is killed. The fines are in addition to any other penalty authorized by law.

Lets see that spread to all street workers in every state. Nice job Gov. Rell.

Check out "NY: Jackass ignores safety 'flaggers' and hits a construction worker at the Verrazano Bridge" for a good reason to have a law like that in New York.

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