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Video: In wake of road worker deaths, Gov. Whitmer reminds travelers to drive like this is your workplace

October 22, 2020 -- After two people were killed recently while working on Michigan freeways, the Michigan Department of Transportation (MDOT) has produced a new video emphasizing the need to think of road construction projects as if they are your own workplace.

In the video, Gov. Gretchen Whitmer reminds us that the Rebuilding Michigan program means there will be many roads under construction the next few years. The governor urges drivers to think about the people doing that work.

"The next time you're on the road and approach a construction site, put yourself in the shoes of those people in orange vests and hard hats," the governor said. "They are real people - fathers, mothers, perhaps your daughter's soccer coach, a volunteer in your son's classroom. They want to go home to their families tonight just as we all do." 

Later in the video, State Transportation Director Paul C. Ajegba implores drivers to slow down in work zones.

"Nothing matters to me more than the safety of our road users and the people who build and maintain those roads," Ajegba says. "Please think about what it would be like to have cars speeding past you each day in your workplace."

Zach Morisette, 26, a Macomb County road worker, died Sept. 21 from injuries sustained when a vehicle struck him while he was working on I-94. Later the same week, Jeremy Zeitz, 40, a worker for a private contractor and father of three, died when he was hit by a vehicle while working on I-69 south of Lansing.

In the last two months, several other road workers suffered injuries from vehicle collisions in work zones.