To kick off this year’s Work Zone Safety Awareness Month, City employees with assistance from Sacramento Police, are taking the safety message to the streets. The annual campaign is in memory of Tony Pontliana, a fellow worker who died as a result of injuries he suffered after being struck by a pickup truck while flagging traffic in July 2004. He passed away in October 2006.
Workers from the departments of transportation, utilities, and parks and recreation participate in the outreach campaign aimed at encouraging safe driving through work zones as construction season gets underway.
Police are coordinating with campaign organizers to step up enforcement by monitoring traffic at several work sites throughout the month to encourage safe driving.
Campaign committee members are visiting up to two dozen work sites for random safety inspections. Staff will be checking to see that workers are properly attired in orange vests, hard hats, safety glasses and that “construction ahead” signage is in place. If the crew checks out, the campaign inspection team will award the entire crew with Subway gift cards purchased with employee donations.
Since Tony’s accident, the City expanded its work zone safety training workshop and adopted stricter standards for traffic control flaggers, including making them more visible with vests and hard hats. City crews working in the right-of-way have been accident-free since Tony’s incident. An estimated 1,000 City and contractor crew members are in or alongside City streets every day during the peak of construction season.