Deputies crack down on drivers in U.S. 14 construction zone

The Capital Times 6/09/2009 8:27 am
A day after a Dane County highway worker was killed on the job, sheriff's deputies set up a "move over" traffic enforcement operation and nabbed numerous drivers for failing to follow the rules in a construction zone.

Three deputies issued 29 citations between 9 a.m. and 2 p.m. last Friday in a construction zone on U.S. 14 near Oregon, including tickets for speeding, failure to change lanes while passing a parked emergency vehicle, operating while revoked, and failure to use seat belts.

The enforcement came a day after James Porter, 61, Monona, was killed when he was hit by a pickup truck the afternoon of June 4 in the northbound lanes of U.S. 151 in Sun Prairie.

Porter was on a maintenance crew, driving a truck with an electronic arrow on it. The arrow was flashing to warn motorists to move over to the right lane of the multi-lane highway, so the crew could work in the left lane and shoulder of the northbound lanes.

The arrow truck was preceded by a dump truck and a street sweeper. Authorities said a pickup driven by Alan Borgardt, 59, hit a trailer on the back of Porter's truck, then the median and Porter before hitting the street sweeper.

Porter had gotten out of his truck just prior to getting struck.

In 2001, the state enacted its "move over" law, requiring drivers to move over to the next lane when coming upon road workers, police or emergency crews who are stopped.

The construction zone on U.S. 14 near Oregon has a 45 mph speed limit; some of the speeding tickets were issued to drivers going more than 20 mph over the limit.

"Dane County sheriff's deputies will continue to provide enforcement of all traffic laws in work zones in an effort to improve the safety of our highway workers and emergency responders," said Sheriff's Office spokeswoman Elise Schaffer.

"Please remember when approaching any vehicle parked on the side of the road, with emergency lights flashing, to move over if possible," Schaffer said. "If you are not able to change lanes, at least slow down, because it is the law."