Orange Cones, No Phones

Posted at: 06/09/2014 3:53 PM
Updated at: 06/09/2014 6:54 PM
By: Brianna Long

(ABC 6 News) -- State officials kicked off a new safety campaign Monday, that coincides with road construction season. Its called Orange Cones: No Phones. The goal is exactly what you'd think: keep people off their phones while driving through work zones.

Paul Schauer has been in the road construction business for 20 years. It's a business, he says, comes with its own set of dangers.

"You're always watching. You always have your head on a swivel and you're aware that things can go wrong in a hurry," sais Schauer.

He's not just talking about the equipment they're working with, but the drivers on the road, just a few feet away.

"We see inattentive driving. We see people driving into closed work zones. We see a lot of close calls. That happens more than I like to admit, said Schauer.

It's a problem state officials are trying to stop, by targeting drivers where they are; on the roads.

"On billboards, pump toppers. It's called orange cones, no phones," said Kristine Hernandez, with MN Dot.

They're reminding people to put their phones away, pay attention, and try to keep people safe.

"Now we have to start going after those really risky motorists that aren't paying attention," said Hernandez.

And Paul says, its not just his life, or his team that he's worried about.

"It's also a safety for the public as well. They can, if you drive into somewhere you shouldn't be, there can be all kinds of hazards there that you might hit, and injure yourself as well," said Schauer.

Just over the weekend, state troopers were at a crash in Mower County. They say a driver failed to stop at a stop sign in a construction zone. Two people were hurt in that crash.