Speeding threatens construction worker lives

They don’t speed through your office


Danielle Stein

Cars mindlessly whizz past construction workers, endangering their lives. Photo by Danielle Stein.

Kaden Bryant, Editor-in-Chief

Barreling down Florida State 426 at 45 miles an hour on a 30, construction worker Taylor Schell is knocked back a few feet by the powerful gust of wind it blasts. The absent-minded driver passes on by without a thought, but Schell is endangered like this nearly every single day, and that fear sticks with him.

Taylor Schell is one of the many dedicated workers upgrading the overhead power lines outside of Oviedo High School. The current ones were outdated, meaning a larger gauge wire had to be installed. But, as workers like Schell arrive to do their job, they’re left in serious danger.

“There’s a lot of impatient people around here,” Schell said. “We try and pre-warn them before so we can get our work done, but it doesn’t do much.”

In 2020 alone, 4,764 construction workers died while on the job. Considering this, it’s no surprise road construction workers are constantly worried for their safety while merely trying to make a living.

While measures are put in place to protect these workers, drivers constantly ignore these attempts. They put signs up to caution people of what’s ahead and to try eliminating as much confusion as possible and often end up having to spend time directing traffic themselves.

Azalea Moore’s job is dedicated to enforcing safety measures like these. She sets up cones, fixes poles, and ensures no oncoming traffic winds up causing an accident.

“It’s a construction site. People are working,” Moore said. “We wouldn’t speed through your front office, so why should anyone ours?”

Senior Ava Grady parks in the busy front lot of OHS every morning and has noticed the endless stream of cars zooming past the individuals hard at work.

“I think people just don’t realize what’s going on and it’s dangerous for everyone involved,” Grady said. “They’re out there with their cones and little yellow hats, but the cars barely give them any space to work.”

Many people don’t take the threat of their vehicle’s speed seriously. A car traveling below 20 mph is considered a safe speed for pedestrians, but just an increase of 10 is where the line is quickly crossed. Additionally, at speeds above 50 mph, the injury risk increases exponentially and could be fatal.

“Just be patient,” Schell said. “It pays off in the end.”