Each spring, the Missouri Department of Transportation (MoDOT) attempts to call motorists' attention to safe driving in work zones.
Last year marked a step backward.
Work zone fatalities increased from 13 to 15 and injuries soared from 676 to 1,033. And the majority of those statistics involved drivers and passengers, not roadway workers.
MoDOT's work zone safety efforts, however, are unflagging.
This year, the department has introduced Barrel Bob, the name for its two, 11-foot-tall mascots constructed with work zone barrels and holding signs marked "slow."
Work zones are an inconvenience for motorists. In addition, workers endure the jeopardy of performing their jobs within close proximity to passing traffic.
But - as we all know - highway maintenance and construction is necessary.
Rather than close a roadway, the theory behind designated work zones is motorists who obey the law and slow their speeds protect not only themselves and their passengers, but construction workers, as well.
The theory is workable only when motorists do their part.
Whenever you encounter a work zone - perhaps even a Barrel Bob - slow down, remain attentive and obey the law.
Let's shoot for a stellar safety record this construction season.