DelDOT secretary calls for safer driving

DOVER — For the third time in two weeks, a Delaware Department of Transportation employee was seriously injured on a job site, this time on Harris Road near Townsend in New Castle County.

The worker was hit by a vehicle while mowing grass today.

He was flown to the hospital as a result of the injuries he sustained and remained hospitalized. The driver was charged with driving without a license, not having insurance and inattentive driving, according to DelDOT.

Jennifer Cohan

“We are seeing far too many people driving unsafely and now have had three employees injured in just the past two weeks by motorists not taking basic actions like slowing down when approaching our workers on the road,” said Secretary of Transportation Jennifer Cohan. “Beyond the safety of our employees, the number of overall fatalities happening on our roads is unacceptable.

“There is no excuse for it, and we are all responsible for our actions behind the wheel and will be held accountable for the injuries and damage that are caused by not being safe and courteous drivers.”

Despite seeing several months of traffic volumes down 50% or more statewide, there have been 91 automobile fatalities as of today, which is just three less than the same time period in 2019. There have also been 19 pedestrian fatalities this year to date — with the most recent occurring Wednesday — compared to 22 at this time last year. October is designated Pedestrian Safety Month by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

“Emergency responders and roadside workers put themselves at risk every day to help people who are in need of emergency assistance or whose vehicles are broken down,” said Cathy Rossi, vice president of public and government affairs for AAA Mid-Atlantic. “To ensure safety, the best thing drivers can do is slow down significantly and, when possible, move over when they see flashing lights, further protecting emergency responders and those they are helping on the side of the road.

“Whether this is a police officer, ambulance, firetruck or someone fixing a tire or working on a tow, slow down, move away and change lanes to create safe space around them. Their lives are on your shoulders.”