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Road crews to start wearing halo lights on safety helmets

ST. LOUIS - Time and time again during road construction drivers are told the same thing.

Slow down, put your phones away and pay attention.

“The forewarning signs that are posted when you enter into a work zone and all the lights that are on our vehicles,” Kurt Costello with Concrete Strategies said.

But somehow last year, 16 people were killed in work zone crashes on state and local routes.

“It is alarming when you see vehicles travel past you at 60 and 70 miles per hour, not really being aware of what’s around them,” Costello said.

Due to that staggering number, Kurt Costello with Concrete Strategies equipped his workers with LED lights to be placed on top of their helmet.

The goal, to give drivers yet another indication to pay attention while crews are working.

“Contractors are like any other business,” Costello said. “We try to be productive, but at the same time we need to be safe and make sure our employees go home at the end of the night.”

Heading into summer months, drivers may notice MoDOT and IDOT crews sporting the new halo lights as well.

“The majority of the work being done is being done overnight now in an effort to lower the impact of the traveling public during heavier traveled daytime hours,” MoDOT District Engineer Tom Blair said.

Costello is hoping drivers heed the new warning to lessen the number of accidents and fatalities, not only locally but across the US.

“When you travel through a work zone,” he said. “You’re traveling through someone’s workplace and their working to do their job!”