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74–389 PS











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JULY 24, 2001

Printed for the use of the

Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure


DON YOUNG, Alaska, Chairman

THOMAS E. PETRI, Wisconsin, Vice-Chair
HOWARD COBLE, North Carolina
JOHN J. DUNCAN, Jr., Tennessee
STEPHEN HORN, California
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JOHN L. MICA, Florida
SUE W. KELLY, New York
JOHN R. THUNE, South Dakota
RICHARD W. POMBO, California
JIM DeMINT, South Carolina
ROBIN HAYES, North Carolina
ROB SIMMONS, Connecticut
HENRY E. BROWN, Jr., South Carolina
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SAM GRAVES, Missouri
MARK R. KENNEDY, Minnesota
BILL SHUSTER, Pennsylvania

NICK J. RAHALL II, West Virginia
ROBERT A. BORSKI, Pennsylvania
BOB CLEMENT, Tennessee
ELEANOR HOLMES NORTON, District of Columbia
BOB FILNER, California
FRANK MASCARA, Pennsylvania
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GENE TAYLOR, Mississippi
BILL PASCRELL, Jr., New Jersey
JAMES P. McGOVERN, Massachusetts
TIM HOLDEN, Pennsylvania
BRIAN BAIRD, Washington
MICHAEL M. HONDA, California
RICK LARSEN, Washington



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Subcommittee on Highways and Transit

THOMAS E. PETRI, Wisconsin, Chairman

HOWARD COBLE, North Carolina
JOHN J. DUNCAN, Jr., Tennessee
JOHN L. MICA, Florida
SUE W. KELLY, New York
JOHN R. THUNE, South Dakota
RICHARD W. POMBO, California
JIM DeMINT, South Carolina
ROBIN HAYES, North Carolina
ROB SIMMONS, Connecticut
HENRY E. BROWN, Jr., South Carolina
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SAM GRAVES, Missouri
BILL SHUSTER, Pennsylvania
  (ex officio)

ROBERT A. BORSKI, Pennsylvania
NICK J. RAHALL II, West Virginia
BOB FILNER, California
FRANK MASCARA, Pennsylvania
BILL PASCRELL, Jr., New Jersey
TIM HOLDEN, Pennsylvania
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MICHAEL M. HONDA, California
RICK LARSEN, Washington
BOB CLEMENT, Tennessee
JAMES P.McGOVERN, Massachusetts
BRIAN BAIRD, Washington
  (ex officio)



    Carlson, Hon. E. Dean, President, American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials, and Secretary, Kansas Department of Transportation

    Desjardins, Robert J., President, Associated General Contractors of America
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    Edginton, Larry, Director, Safety and Health, International Union of Operating Engineers
    MacGillivray, Ian, Director, Research Management Division, Iowa Department of Transportation
    Schimmoller, Vincent F., Deputy Executive Director, Federal Highway Administration, U.S. Department of Transportation

    Sterndahl, Dennis S., President American Traffic Safety Services Association

    Wight, John, Chairman, American Road and Transportation Builders Association
    Yermack, Lawrence F., Chairman, Board of Directors, Intelligent Transportation Society of America


    Costello, Hon. Jerry F., of Illinois
    Johnson, Hon. Timothy V., of Illinois
    Rahall, Hon. Nick J., of West Virginia


    Carlson, Hon. E. Dean

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    Desjardins, Robert J
    Edginton, Larry
    MacGillivray, Ian
    Schimmoller, Vincent F

    Sterndahl, Dennis S

    Wight, John
    Yermack, Lawrence F


    Horn, Hon. Stephen, a Representative in Congress from California, ''Deaths in Construction Zones Rise'', by Jonathan D. Salant, Associated Press Writer, July 24, 2001

    Larsen, Hon. Rick, a Representative in Congress from Washington State, documents from the Washington State Department of Transportation, including the WSDOT final report on Highway Work Zone Safety, January 1994

    Laborers' Health and Safety Fund of North America, Joseph C. Fowler, Jr., Executive Director, statement

MacGillivray, Ian, Director, Research Management Division, Iowa Department of Transportation, reports, articles, and video (contained in the subcommittee file)

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    Wight, John, Chairman, American Road and Transportation Builders Association, report, National Conference on Work Zone Safety, and attachments


Tuesday, July 24, 2001
House of Representatives, Subcommittee on Highways and Transit, Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure, Washington, D.C.

    The subcommittee met, pursuant to call, at 10:05 a.m. in room 2167, Rayburn House Office Building, Hon. Thomas Petri [Chairman of the subcommittee] presiding.

    Mr. PETRI. The hearing will come to order.
    This afternoon's hearing will focus on highway work zone safety. As our nation's infrastructure ages and congestion includes, it will take an extraordinary effort to rebuild and expand our roads and bridges to meet 21st Century mobility needs.
    Even if we decided to completely stop building new roads, the Department of Transportation reports that it will cost $56.6 billion a year just to maintain current highway and bridge conditions during the next 20 years. That translates into an awful lot of work zones.
    We owe it to the motorists who have to navigate cars, trucks and buses through these work zones and we owe it to the construction and maintenance workers who labor day and night to get the job done to do everything that we reasonable can to make sure that these work zones are safe.
    In 1999, the number of people killed in work zone crashes was 868, a 12 percent increase over the previous year. Each year there are about 39,000 injuries from motor vehicle crashes in work zones.
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    I am pleased that the witnesses appearing here today have not been caught unprepared for this hearing.
    In 1998, when we passed TEA-21, we authorized the Federal Highway Administration to use research dollars for work zone safety. I would like to know what research is being done and what benefits we can expect from it.
    State and local governments have different safety standards for their work zones. I am looking forward to hearing what States are doing individually and collectively to address the problem. Industry and labor have been proactive on this issue. Earlier this month, a work zone safety summit was held to develop a consensus on solutions. Many groups participated in the summit, including those represented by witnesses who are here today.
    I am interested in learning what solutions were agreed to at the summit and how those solutions may be implemented. It is clear that the problems are complex and that the solutions must be multi-pronged. Effective traffic law enforcement in work zones, clear and accurate road signs, the use of intelligent transportation systems, commercial driver education programs and highway worker training programs are good starts.
    I would like to know which of these solutions have been implemented successfully, what new safety programs are ready to be deployed, what roadblocks stand in the way.
    Today, we will hear testimony from two panels of witnesses. The first panel will consist of Federal and State highway officials who will discuss work zone safety standards and research.
    The second panel will consist of industry, labor and nonprofit groups.
    At this point I would yield to the Ranking Member of the Subcommittee, my colleague, Bob Borski.
    Mr. BORSKI. Well, thank you very much, Mr. Chairman. Let me first commend you for scheduling today's hearing on work zone safety. Work zone safety areas dangerous places for construction workers and the traveling public.
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    Because of increased funding made available through the enactment of TEA-21, a greater number of highway construction and maintenance projects are underway. Over 80 percent of the Federal Aid Highway funds made available to the States are being used for highway systems preservations, for our work.
    Unfortunately, the nation's highway departments do not have the luxury to shut down traffic on segments of highways during the reconstruction and maintenance of the roadways. Instead, highway construction workers are required to carry out their jobs while maintaining the flow of traffic.
    The safe and efficient flow of traffic through construction and maintenance work zones is a major concern to transportation officials, the highway industry, the traveling public, and obviously, this subcommittee.
    It is estimated that the majority of our nation's population travels through a work zone at least once everyday. The erection of work zones puts both motorist and worker at risk. Each year more than 20,000 accidents occur in highway work zones, injuring more than 39,000 people and killing more than 860. In Pennsylvania, where we are mourning the recent death of Thomas McCormick, III, we know first hand how work zones are becoming increasingly dangerous. Mr. McCormick, a 37-year old, highly regarded former Chief of Staff to the Pennsylvania House Majority Leader was killed just last week in a five-vehicle accident on I-81 near Scranton. Stopped in a construction zone, his car was struck from the rear by a tractor-trailer.
    Returning from a clambake fundraiser, I am sure Mr. McCormick never suspected he would be leaving behind his wife and 10-year old son.
    Mr. Chairman, if we are to improve work zone safety, we must develop a partnership with the motorists and the construction workers, a partnership built on trust and support for each other's needs and concerns. As motorists demand smoother roads and less congestion and highway agencies grapple with growing demands and aging highways, we must also seek to develop innovative solutions to work zone hazards encountered on our nation's highways and decrease the deaths and injuries occurring in these dangerous zones.
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    Hopefully, today's hearing will provide valuable solutions to a growing work zone safety problem.
    Mr. PETRI. Thank you.
    Statements by the Chairman of the full committee, Don Young, and the Ranking Democratic on the full community, Congressman Jim Oberstar, will be made a part of the record of this hearing when submitted.
    Are there other members who wish to make opening statements?
    Mr. Otter?
    Mr. OTTER. Thank you, Mr. Chairman. I wish to thank you for holding this important hearing.
    All drivers have seen the men and women along the side of the road working hard to improve our roads and highways on which our safety and our livelihoods depend. Few of those who do drive by think about the men and women who are working hard to make sure our roads are in good shape and stay that way.
    I hope this hearing will educate more drivers about the steps we can take to improve work zone safety.
    I would like to bring to this committee's attention and to our panelists' attention one of the vital steps necessary for work zone safety and that is a trained and knowledgeable workforce.
    TEA-21, with its vast, necessary increase in highway spending requires a large number of construction workers than ever before. Many States suffer from a shortage of highway workers resulting in project delays and increased highway costs.
    The Idaho Association of General Contractors, in partnership with the Idaho Transportation Department are working together to solve the worker shortage problem in a way that helps those who traditionally have not benefitted from highway construction.
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    They have developed an innovative program that trains members of disadvantaged groups to become highway construction professionals. This program, which has been funded by the United States Department of Transportation on-the-job training funds in the past and hopefully will be again next year, has in just two years transformed at least 27 men and women with poor job skills and little opportunity into people who are excited and knowledgeable about their jobs, earning good money and demonstrating to the people of Idaho that highway construction benefits everyone in the State.
    I wish to commend Max McClintock and Kathy Hagler and Lisa Loness and the Idaho Association of General Contractors, along with the staff of the Idaho Department of Transportation who make this program possible.
    Thank you once again, Mr. Chairman.
    Mr. PETRI. Are there other opening statements?
    Mr. LARSEN. Thank you, Mr. Chairman. Thank you for the opportunity to provide an opening statement on work zone safety. I just want to read a couple of paragraphs and point out a couple of statistics from a document from my own Washington State Department of Transportation.
    The State Legislature passed a law in 1994 aimed at work zone safety. It starts out:
    ''All it takes is one careless motorist. In the blink of an eye, many lives can be tragically changed forever.''
    These are the words of Tammy Malone, widow of WashDot Northwest region engineer, Michael D. Malone, as she testified in support of work zone safety measures before the State Senate Transportation Committee on January 18, 1994.
    Her husband, Mike Malone, was killed after being struck by a drunk driver last June while working on Interstate 5. Since that time, the State Legislature did pass a State law—that was in 1994 to improve the safety around work zones for construction using the ''Give Them a Brake'' program.
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    Mr. Chairman, I would like to submit, with your permission, the recommendations of the WashDot, Washington State Department of Transportation's recommendations for work zone safety as well as some of the documents from the website.
    Mr. PETRI. Without objection, they will be made a part of the record of this hearing.
    Our colleague, Mr. Horn, without objection, will be made a member of the panel for today's hearing.
    Are there other opening statements?
    [No response.]
    Mr. PETRI. If not, we are pleased to welcome the first panel consisting of the Deputy Executive Director of the Federal Highway Administration, Mr. Vincent Schimmoller. Welcome.
    Of course, a familiar face, the Honorable Dean Carlson is President of the American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials. He has spent his career in this field.
    Also, we have Mr. Ian MacGillivray, who is the Director, Research Management Division of the Iowa Department of Transportation.
    Gentlemen, your full statements will be made a part of the record and we would like to thank you for the work that went into preparing them. We look forward to you summarizing them or making additional remarks for about five minutes.
    We will start with Mr. Schimmoller.
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    Mr. SCHIMMOLLER. Thank you, Mr. Chairman. Mr. Chairman and members of the committee, thank you for the opportunity to testify today on the Department of Transportation's work zone safety and mobility initiatives.
    As Secretary Mineta has said on many occasions, safety is the number one transportation priority of the Department and the number one priority of the administration. Improving safety is a job that is never finished. The Secretary and the Federal Highway Administration are committed to improving safety and saving lives.
    Over the years, working with the States and the localities we have seen great successes in improving highway safety. Alcohol-related fatalities are at historic lows. Seat belt use is at an all-time high. Cars are built so that passengers can now walk away from crashes that would have taken lives in years past.
    Safer barriers and better signals and signs are among the improvements making our roadways safer. All this is very good. But still more than 40,000 people die on our highways each year.
    In the work zones along our highways, fatalities reached a high of 868 in 1999 and another 51,000 Americans were injured in work zone accidents in the same year.
    Moreover, from 1992 to 1999, between 106 and 136 highway workers, men and women who maintain and improve our highways died each year in road construction activities.
    To address work zone safety, we must focus on both safety and mobility. Particularly with work zones, safety and mobility issues are so intertwined that they must be dealt with together. Work zones are necessary to improve safety as well as mobility.
    Thanks to the almost 40 percent increase in funding that Congress made available in TEA-21, our investment in highway infrastructure has grown significantly at all levels of government, making possible much needed rehabilitation and preservation work on our aging roads and bridges.
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    However, congested travel continues to grow. From 1980 to 1999, traffic increased approximately 76 percent while miles of public roads increased by only one percent. With the very limited amount of new roads, the bulk of the construction will be taking place on existing highways that are open to traffic.
    Highway professionals are aware of the problem and, in response, much of the construction is now done at night. The number of lanes that are closed is limited. Incentives are provided for early completion.
    Yet, this is not enough. The American public tells us that we must find ways to adequately maintain our infrastructure while minimizing the safety and mobility impacts. They want us to get in, get out, and stay out.
    At the same time, we hear from the contracting industry that our work hours are squeezed, sometimes to the point of greatly limiting their productivity. We hear concerns that night work and pressures to expedite construction schedules compromise quality and worker safety.
    The problems are growing and they are costly in lives, time and money. Unfortunately, there aren't a lot of simple, easily applied solutions. Real solutions will have to come from a fundamental change in the way we plan projects, estimate the cost, design them, bid them and then finally construct them.
    We see five major shifts in approach to work zones that, if implemented, would begin to address both the serious safety concerns and the public's growing frustration with work zone delays.
    First, the cost of crashes and delays due to work zones are real. We must explicitly consider these costs in project decision-making.
    Second, work zone planning must begin early, at the programming stage of a project. Traffic mitigation needs to be planned and designed along with the project, and project estimates need to include these costs.
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    Third, design decisions should be based on consideration of the full life-cycle cost of a project, including the safety risks of multiple work zones during the life of the pavement. If we consider the future maintenance costs and impacts to travelers and businesses due to reconstruction, it may be more cost-effective to invest up front in longer-lived materials.
    Fourth, we must provide accurate, real time information to travelers about what to expect in a work zone. Motorists are willing to plan around road disruptions if they know about them. Intelligent Transportation Systems technology can deliver the necessary information.
    Fifth, we must design defensive work zones, that is, we must more aggressively consider innovative concepts such as total closure of a roadway for a moderate duration to do repairs.
    Other possibilities, include barrier separation between the motorist and workers, increased use of truck-mounted attenuators, and intrusion alarms for the work site. These practices cost money, but save lives. We must make these changes if we are to make a substantial improvement in work zone safety and mobility.
    To this end, FHWA has assembled the Work Zone Integrated Product Team, from disciplines of design, engineering, safety, traffic operations, planning and research, to address this issue on a full-time basis. The team is focusing on a national strategy to promote best practices and on new concepts and technologies to improve safety and mobility in work zones.
    For example, FHWA has developed a modeling tool called QuickZone which estimates delay and traffic backups that may be expected in a specific work zone configuration and can be used to evaluate the impacts of alternative work zone configurations, time-of-day and day-of-week options, and the use of full roadway closures.
    Key components to FHWA work zone programs are outreach, awareness, and training. Our message must reach States and local agencies and contractors. It must reach transportation planners, designers, construction managers and traffic managers if we are to change the way we think about work zones and their impact on travelers. We must also reach out to people traveling through the work zone to keep them alert.
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    We all want a safer and more efficient transportation system. Therefore, we must ensure that we have safer work zones, shorter delays and make high quality, long lasting repairs. We must make fundamental changes in planning for work zones that will allow us to get in, get out and stay out.
    Once again, thank you, Mr. Chairman, for the opportunity to testify today. I will be pleased to answer any questions.
    Mr. PETRI. Thank you.
    Mr. Carlson.
    Mr. CARLSON. Thank you, Mr. Chairman and members of the committee. Good afternoon to everyone.
    First of all, Mr. Chairman, thank you very much for convening this hearing in recognition of a genuine problem unless we attack it in concerted action. Those 868 fatalities and 39,000 injuries that people talk about won't be helped unless we raise the awareness of the problem that we are facing. I think these hearings will do that.
    As President as AASHTO, I have designated safety as a top priority, keeping work zones safe is a challenge that grows out of our mission to address the capacity and maintenance needs of our nation's highways.
    It requires the attention of the engineering, of work zone design, education for workers and the public. We need to have strong enforcement. There are hundreds of work zones during the construction season in each State. Right now they have 500 in New York, 150 in Pennsylvania, 400 in Illinois.
    AASHTO has been deeply involved in work zone safety for several years
    We use small contractors. We have about 500 work zones in Kansas, even though we kind of break up the work a little differently. In California, they expect to have one in every five miles of highway slated for work in the next five years. Some of those roads are going to be fun to do that with, I am sure.
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    These numbers can only grow as we bring the benefits of the Transportation Equity Act for the 21st Century to our customers. AASHTO has been deeply involved in work zone safety for several years now.
    We have a special task force exploring this issue through the National Cooperative Highway Research Program and we are currently updating a best practices publication on the geometry of work zones and designing them for maximum safety and traffic flow.
    We have helped fund the National Work Zone Safety Clearinghouse. We have 24,000 information requests a year on average.
    We are a founding sponsor of an annual event held early in April, the National Work Zone Awareness Week. It has drawn significant media attention in the two years of its observation.
    One thing AASHTO can do is share success stories with other State DOTs. One of these successes, Mr. Chairman, is from your own State where Secretary Terry Mulcay and his staff have made work zones a major element of a year-round campaign to increase driver safety awareness.
    Wisconsin's 100 Days of Safety Campaign opened just before July 4th and will end on October 10th, a day that we have initiated with NSP and AASHTO called ''Put the Brakes on Fatalities Day.'' We are trying to model that after the Great American Smoke-Out. We will steal from anybody that will help us cut down on the fatalities and injuries in work zones.
    AASHTO member DOTs have shown strong leadership on this issue. We are cooperating with groups such as ARTBA, ADC, and ATSSA. They are partners. We are researching the structure of work zones and improving the training and equipment used by workers to improve the state of the art.
    But another key element is to take steps through public information campaigns and tough, well-publicized enforcement to change driver behavior.
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    There are many excellent approaches to share, but I have been impressed by what Illinois is doing. The DOT there, in response to a rise in work zone fatalities I think their death toll last year was 37 they thought, well, what they have been doing wasn't working so well anymore.
    They replaced it with two new messages, a carrot and a stick. The carrot is on my right, a sign that is put up in work zones. It says, ''Please slow down. My daddy or my mommy works here.''
    These signs were coupled with radio and TV ads featuring actual children of State DOT workers. For drivers too hardboiled to respond to that kind of a message, they have actually put up another automated sign that says such things as ''There have been 9,762 citations in this work zone and you may be next.''
    I think that a zero tolerance approach on enforcement is working. They have signs that say, you are traveling at a certain speed through a work zone. Kansas has experimented with that. I think we get people to slow down that way.
    In Illinois, there have been 16 work zone deaths this year to date, compared to 24 by this time last year. So, their campaign is working.
    Another important approach States are taking is to eliminate driver's exposure to work zones entirely. In some States and urban areas, they get in, shut the road down and get out in a hurry. People have accepted that. Sixty-seven percent said that they would back road closure to do work on roads.
    I am not sure about our western Kansans where we close down a major highway, not quite so important as urban areas, for a whole construction season would be that popular, but we would do it because you can certainly get in and do the work much more safely if there is not traffic through the work zone.
    But there is too much work to do this everywhere. But getting the work done quickly, even when you have work zones, lowers the window of risk. States are using incentive contracts to accelerate project completion. There is a bonus for contractors who make a special effort to get it done well and earlier.
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    One of the things I think we really need to concentrate on is the fact that four out of five of the people killed in work zones are people driving through. It is not the workers. It is not the State employees. It is people driving through. We need to expand enforcement for that.
    Where steps are taken to publicize the problem, deaths decrease. We found out that in Kansas people will accept a ten-mile per hour drop in the speed limit, but when we tried it at 15 and 20, we got much less observance of our speed zones through work zones.
    We also found out that if you go beyond about eight miles, people, even though it is only a minute or two, they loose their interest in saving their life to an extent and they drive faster and do serious things like passing on shoulders, and so forth.
    I do again appreciate very much having the opportunity to have this hearing. Thank you very much. I would also be happy to answer questions.
    Mr. PETRI. Thank you.
    Mr. MacGillivray?

    Mr. MACGILLIVRAY. Good afternoon, Mr. Chairman and members of the committee. I am Ian MacGillivray with the Iowa Department of Transportation.
    I am pleased to be here to tell you a little about what we are doing to enhance safety in work zones and provide some suggestions or initiatives that we think might improve motorist and worker safety.
    Work zone safety is a serious issue for State highways. Management of traffic through work zones is required for every single activity that occurs on our roadway system. Every day we are faced with two similar, yet different focuses related to work zone safety: worker safety and motorist safety.
    A worker wants to close the roadway so they can work without the threat of vehicle intrusion. The motorist wants a smooth roadway surface, but doesn't want to be inconvenienced by a work zone. Neither is really a complete option.
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    When fatalities occur in Iowa work zones, just as Mr. Carlson said, 85 percent of those killed are the motoring public themselves. Up to one-third of those crashes involve large trucks. In our State, three-quarters of all work zone crashes are rear end type crashes.
    In a related sense, numerous near misses of incidents occur in highway work zones as well. Reminders of those are the damaged and destroyed traffic barriers, headlight glass, et cetera. Without proper documentation it is difficult to determine appropriate remedies to those near misses, crashes just waiting to happen. That is something that perhaps research undertaken would help us understand better what is happening in our work zones.
    Motorist safety is a primary concern of ours. Work zone operations are considered early in the project development and planning process. As work zone traffic control plans are developed, work methods and even the design of a project itself may be modified to create a safer condition for the motorist.
    The department has constantly stressed employee safety in our highway work zone. Since 1979, each year we conduct work zone safety training programs for maintenance and construction staff, for contractor staff, city and county engineering and public works staff and utility companies.
    This past year attendance was over 600 on-the-road staff. In addition, we require the use of certified flaggers in work zones. That same training program has trained over 250 local agency personnel and another 400 DOT personnel this year.
    The key traffic engineering principle has always worked toward creating motorist respect for highway signing. The principle is even more necessary when it deals with work zones. Overuse and incorrect work zones signs breed motorist contempt and lack of respect for signing installations, something that we as professionals need to focus on.
    Iowa highway contracts require contractors to supply 24-hour traffic control monitoring and incident response on high volume traffic complex projects; that staff patrol the work zone and provide around-the-clock maintenance and surveillance of the work zone.
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    We also require contractors to use a certified traffic control technician who is responsible for the contractors' oversight on a project. Not all work zones are construction related.
    I would like to touch on maintenance for just a minute. For instance, use of truck-mounted crash attenuators on maintenance vehicles has helped improve employee safety. These attenuators have saved department employees from serious injury that would have otherwise occurred.
    Even with these improvements, however, we still have the problem of the distracted drive. A question was asked about research. The States of Iowa, Nebraska, Missouri, Wisconsin and Kansas have pooled their resources in a Midwest collaborative effort.
    By pooling their resources, they were able to initiate and fund work that exceeds or is beyond the capacity of the individual agencies. Some of the technologies evaluated recently include conditioned response of traffic management systems, in-vehicle warning systems, speed display trailers, work zone rumble strips, illuminated raised pavement markers, and merge control systems.
    Our work has also shown that the back of a traffic queue, which occurs as traffic slows down as it approaches a work zone, can on occasion actually back up, upstream towards oncoming traffic. We have identified that occurring at speeds up to 30 miles an hour approaching oncoming traffic. When combined with traffic traveling at only the speed limit, we can have a rate of closure of 100 miles per hour or even more, 110 miles per hour.
    The rapidly approaching queue is not normally recognized as a potential dangerous situation, even by the alert driver. Research related to this dynamic approaching queue of vehicles and potential mitigation, including in-vehicle warning systems, if we hope to minimize future work zone crashes.
    Adaptive or smart cruise control can be incorporated as standard equipment on all vehicles, which will eliminate or reduce the severity of such crashes and assist the driver in identifying that situation.
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    One way to promote uniform travel speeds and control excessive speed is through the use of enforcement and extra enforcement. Yet the issue that inhibits safe enforcement of speed limits in work zones is that most work zones don't allow a safe location for pullover of violating vehicles.
    This act of ticketing can impede traffic, cause backups, and subsequently cause unsafe conditions. Research should be conducted on how technology can be used to assist enforcement in identifying violators and issuing tickets on site in a safe manner.
    We believe that one of the most promising technologies then to improve safety is adaptive cruise control. These vehicles are being developed and will be included as standard equipment in all vehicles some day. Expediting development and deployment should strongly be considered.
    We also think that research should be conducted into how technology can be used to assist enforcement officers.
    Finally, I would like to suggest that States need to be able to evaluate and investigate work zone crashes to study how to improve their engineering and other practices without the fear of legal liability resulting from such scientific engineering forensic studies.
    Mr. Chairman, thank you for the opportunity to share our experience. Attached to our testimony are 25 additional exhibits providing background on a lot of our training programs, public relations and many other activities the department carries out every day.

    Mr. PETRI. Thank you. Thank you all for your testimony.
    Now we will turn to questions from the committee, beginning with Mr. Oberstar.
    Mr. OBERSTAR. Thank you very much for your courtesy, Mr. Chairman. Thanks to you and Mr. Borski for highlighting this issue, one that is probably not on the top of high visibility issues, but one that should be on the top of this committee's agenda and this subcommittee's agenda because we made this unprecedented level of increase in funding for surface transportation projects in TEA-21.
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    At the same time, that I can- and we knew at the time that we were moving that legislation; Chairman Shuster and I talked about it often- that this was going to put pressure on the roadway itself as these projects were committed to construction and reconstruction.
    We had to commit additional dollar amounts for safety and safety in the work zone, and we did so. But the tale of the tape is shocking. Over a decade, 1989 through 1999, 8,000 fatalities, the highest number ever in 1999; 868 fatalities. That should not have happened as a result of this increase in traffic.
    Hopefully, the work that the industry has done itself, and I commend the construction sector and a retro-reflective signage sector in their association, ATSSA. ARTBA has paid a lot of attention, AASHTO has paid a lot of attention to this issue.
    We have to perhaps spend more time on one of the factors that came out of the seminar session just recently on this subject of public education. A lot of devices are important, ITS systems and the attenuators that the panel talked about; those are all important.
    But educating the public, you know there is this dichotomy, Mr. Chairman, people complain like the dickens about a road. They complain, ''Fix this pothole. Fix this road.''
    Then, when the fix is underway, they say, ''Get it over with, all this congestion and all this trouble is delaying my drive into work.''
    Well, folks, you can't have it both ways. You can't fix the roadway and not be inconvenienced. We need to educate the public about that. Exercise caution, patience. Signs like those that are on display here help catch the public's attention.
    More effective enforcement in work zones, higher penalties, tougher enforcement. Make people really pay for driving 60 through a 35-mile an hour work zone. That is just not tolerable. We didn't enact this legislation to put workers lives at risk.
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    Contractors also have to shoulder a greater sense of responsibility. I know that their budgets are tight. The competition is getting increasingly stiff. So, they are cutting corners. You can't cut corners on this issue, on safety.
    We have a responsibility in this committee to make sure that every effort is being expended. If it takes some additional dollars, we will address that as well. But I think it is more using the available funding and education of the driving public to address this issue of work zone safety.
    I commend all those who are testifying today in this committee. We hope you will continue, Mr. Chairman and Mr. Borski, to keep the spotlight on work zone safety. Thank you.
    Mr. PETRI. Thank you.
    Mr. Horn, do you have any questions?
    Mr. HORN. Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
    I am fascinated by some of the feelings that we could do some more for this and each of the States could do some more for this.
    Mr. Schimmoller, when you addressed the work zone situation, Congress has tried to do that three times in the legislation in 1990. Yet the injuries and loss of life continue to rise. We have heard the public's frustration with work zone delays and the safety problems.
    In the late 1990s we first started hearing the term ''road rage.'' Do you believe that the rise in aggressive driving in the late 1990s explains the rise in work zone accidents? How do you feel about that?
    Mr. SCHIMMOLLER. Mr. Horn, I think it contributes to it, the idea of the additional work zones that we do have out there, the increased number of work zones because of the additional monies and needs to improve the roadways. But in addition to that, there is the increased congestion that has been talked about as far as on the roadways; that people are frustrated at not being able to move in the fashion that they would like because of waiting in lines of traffic to get there.
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    That builds frustration, and that in turn causes drivers perhaps to not do the things that they should when they are behind the wheel. It leads to road rage, irresponsible types of actions that ultimately can, and in many cases do, result in injuries or fatalities.
    Mr. HORN. Do you feel that a better design in the work zones themselves would solve some of this and if so, what are they?
    Mr. SCHIMMOLLER. I think there are several things that can be done. One is a positive protection between the roadway and the workers, a barrier of some type.
    The second, which Mr. Carlson and I both commented on is, when appropriate, the actual full closure of the roadway. There are a number of examples where this has been used in a number of States, and worked very effectively.
    Now, this can't be done for a long period of time, but it can be done for short projects. It has proven to be, and can be, a very effective way of achieving zero fatalities and zero work zone accidents.
    Mr. HORN. Does your State look at alcohol situations where someone is going through that zone? If so, what is the penalty and is it more of a penalty in this situation than it would be if they were out on the main highway?
    Mr. SCHIMMOLLER. Mr. Horn, I am not associated with any particular State. I am with the Federal Highway Administration. But we do encourage the .08 blood alcohol limit and the enforcement of the control of alcohol use on the highways. We support States in their efforts to address this particular issue.
    Mr. HORN. Have States done it so that if you are in the work zone and you are sort of stationary and working slowly and not being able to look around at what is happening, shouldn't there be a heavier penalty for people that are working for the State and in these work zones?
    Mr. SCHIMMOLLER. That would be definitely a way of handling it, sir. I am not aware of any particular State that has that in effect. Perhaps one of the other witnesses will have some specific examples in that particular area.
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    Another way of addressing that particular idea is the intrusion alarms. These advise workers when a vehicle comes across a particular point into the work zone. The alarm sounds and the workers can scatter or get out of the way. Those devices, while they are available, are not widely used. But they are a way of at least providing some degree of safety for the workers who are in that work zone.
    Mr. HORN. Would you other gentlemen agree with that or do you have some feelings on the alcohol aspects?
    Mr. CARLSON. Specifically, alcohol has a majority of penalties. Some are monetary and some are behavioral. We have legislation this year that allows us to put ignition interlock devices on second offenders, which we appreciate very much having our Legislature do that.
    As far as the monetary, we have had legislation for sometime that the fine is double in work zones. That we had included any alcohol violation, the monetary part of it would double in a work zone. Sometimes things happen in strange ways. Our economy was a little tough this year and our Legislature tripled all traffic fines. So, we double them in work zones and now with the economy the way it was, we now triple the doubled fines. So, it is no longer an easy matter to drive through a work zone in Kansas over the speed limit or impaired in any way.
    As far as the workers go, every State worker who is on a project, and I think most of the construction workers, are subject to random testing for alcohol and drug abuse under the Commercial Drivers License Act. To my knowledge, that has not been a problem. It is the people that are driving through that create the most difficulty.
    Mr. HORN. Mr. Schimmoller, as Secretary of the Kansas Department, how much have we had that happen through other States? Is it just Kansas that is doing these progressive things or do you look at this from the national point of view and know what States are doing what in terms of alcohol in particular in work zones?
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    Mr. SCHIMMOLLER. Well, we do have a national perspective. There are a number of States that are using many of the tools that Mr. Carlson has talked about, in particular the fines, double fines through work zones.
    As to the alcohol testing, most of the State DOTs, to my knowledge, have the internal controls that he referred to. They are in place also.
    Mr. HORN. Thank you. Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
    Mr. PETRI. Thank you, Mr. Horn.
    Mr. Rahall.
    Mr. RAHALL. Thank you, Mr. Chairman. Mr. Chairman, I ask unanimous consent that my opening statement be made a part of the record.
    Mr. PETRI. Without objection.
    Mr. RAHALL. Mr. Chairman, yesterday I had the high honor of having the Secretary of Transportation, a good friend of every Member of this committee, Norm Mineta, in my Congressional District. We dedicated the Appalachian Transportation Institute at Marshall University, one of the institutes so authorized in our last TEA-21.
    We had a very good day in Huntington. We dedicated it in my name, by the way. But one of the many purposes of this institute is to study, among other things, electro-luminescent technology, how to make our roads safer when driving under fog conditions.
    Also, one of the purposes of that is to study various intelligent traffic monitoring systems. We have many work zone safety areas on Interstate 64 as it travels through southern West Virginia. ITS is a very important part of helping to protect workers in these work zones.
    One of the purposes of the institute is also to study drowsy driving conditions. This subcommittee has had hearing on distractions for drivers in the past, but drowsy driving is also a danger. That is one of the goals of this institute as well.
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    The institute will share its findings in studying drowsy driving with the Department of Transportation, other States, universities and industry and hopefully come up with recommendations on how we can address this problem as well.
    I would like to ask Mr. Schimmoller a question, if I might. I noticed in your testimony you talked about protecting pedestrians, disabled individuals, and children, giving consideration to them in their travel paths in work zones. You said they must not be disrupted.
    I wonder if you had some further elaboration on this point, how we can provide those protections for our disabled seniors and children.
    Mr. SCHIMMOLLER. Thank you, Mr. Rahall. That particular comment had to do primarily with urban situations, urban roadways where you do have pedestrians and pedestrians with disabilities that are traveling. The idea there was audible pedestrian signal. There are several in place within the Washington, D.C. area that are used on a pilot, or on a trial, basis to get some idea of how they work, and also experimentations with pedestrian countdown signals, as far as how much time you had to cross.
    The idea of having the audible signals and the much expanded look at curb cuts is to allow the pedestrians and disabled vehicles to move across the work zones at appropriate locations.
    Mr. RAHALL. I appreciate that.
    Another question I have is for Mr. Carlson. You mentioned enforcement. Enforcement is vital. I know Ranking Member Oberstar just talked about this as well. Do you feel that judges are dismissing very lightly violations in work zone areas or do you have recommendations for harsher penalties?
    Mr. CARLSON. I don't believe that we have that kind of a problem as far as the judges are concerned. At least in Kansas, I think the judges do a pretty good job of assessing the penalties that the law allows.
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    What I mean by enforcement is, I think that a lot of States, certainly we do, work with our Highway Patrol in rural areas and some of the cities and urban areas to provide presence of enforcement personnel in these work zones.
    It has a dramatic effect if you see a State Trooper parked along the roadway and you know that the fines are going to be substantially higher than they would otherwise. We get very good compliance with our signs and markings if there are some police or trooper people on the job. That is what I was referring to. We need to have people out there.
    We actually pay the cost of having increased enforcement on these construction projects during certain holidays and certain times. We sort of rotate them around the State, hopefully, so people won't know where they are going to be. It seems to have a really good on keeping the speeds down so that people are in a little better safety.
    Mr. RAHALL. So, in general, you think the fines and penalties that are on the books are sufficient and enforcement thereof is of high enough quality. It is just putting the people on the scene?
    Mr. CARLSON. Well, since we only imposed this tripling of the fines in Kansas on July first, I am going to be interested in seeing what impact that is going to have on our compliance through construction zones.
    Mr. RAHALL. Thank you.
    Mr. PETRI. Thank you, Mr. Rahall.
    Mr. Otter.
    Mr. OTTER. I have no questions at this time, Mr. Chairman.
    Mr. PETRI. Mr. Isakson.
    Mr. ISAKSON. Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
    As a couple of my colleagues have pointed out, my State is the leader in per capita fatalities, the State of Georgia. I was reading this chart from a future testimony. We lost 95 folks.
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    I wanted to thank Mr. Carlson for his comments in his written testimony about the State's improvement.
    I would like to make an observation about enforcement, if I might. You are welcome to comment on it. In Georgia, particularly in the metropolitan area, we have a tremendous amount of ongoing construction that seems to never stop. The State did do a survey that found that most people thought workers got hurt and not vehicle occupants.
    They further got a study; they didn't believe that the signs meant anything. Starting about a year ago, they began putting law enforcement cars with their blue lights on at the beginning of the construction area. I noticed in your testimony that it reduced by 17 percent the number of fatalities from one year to the next. Is that type of thing, the visibility of enforcement, I think somebody else testified a police car being in sight tends to have a positive influence on a driver, is that the type of thing that we need to focus on?
    Mr. CARLSON. Any of those kinds of techniques. In fact, we have had some States that have put radar-triggering devices in construction vehicles, in dump trucks. That causes the Fuzz Busters to go off and that has the effect of slowing people down. There are so many different techniques. The States has bought used police vehicles and turned the lights on and set them out on construction zones.
    We need the awareness of the people that this is a dangerous location and anything that we can do in all the States in order to get that awareness and keep people's behavior somewhat controlled is what we need. Any of those techniques are helpful.
    Mr. ISAKSON. Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
    Mr. PETRI. Ms. Berkley.
    Ms. BERKLEY. I would like also to thank the Chairman and the Ranking Member for holding this meeting.
    Because of the influx of people moving into southern Nevada, our transportation systems are tremendously overburdened. To keep up with the growth, new roadways are under construction and current highways are constantly being expanded and improved. With so much construction, safety of our highway construction workers and motorists is of paramount importance to me.
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    In 1995, a construction worker lost his life while working on a highway in Las Vegas. Since the accident, the Nevada Department of Transportation, very responsive to the tragedy created a program, the Give Them a Brake Program, to educate motorists about driving in construction zones.
    I am sorry to say that the State of Nevada introduced the doubling of penalties for speeding through construction zones. Unfortunately, even with that, even in 1999, which is the last year that I have statistics, we lost 19 crew members due to motorist's accidents.
    In addition to addressing the safety of our construction crews, we should also look to all work crews. We had another horrible tragedy, a human tragedy where six youngsters of high school age, because of minor infractions with the law, truancies and things like that, were participating in a county program to help clean up the roadside. They were in fact wearing orange vests and there was a blinking light on the van that had transported the kids to the highway to clean up. Unfortunately, due to an out-of-control motorist, the six children were plowed down and killed.
    I think as a parent that all of us can understand that that is a tragedy that their families will never be able to overcome.
    I realize that in some situations no level of precaution can completely protect our roadside workers, but it is vitally important that we do everything we can to raise safety standards to make our highway work zones the safest possible.
    I appreciated your testimony. I am just wondering, are there any Federal standards or Federal guidelines that currently exist that outline safety precautions that should be taken by roadside work crews? Is there a checklist that we have to make sure that this and this and this are implemented so we could maximize the ability to protect these workers?
    Mr. SCHIMMOLLER. Ms. Berkley, there are some things. FHWA has, I believe, taken the leadership role in this particular area of setting standards where appropriate. We worked very closely with the State DOTs and the AASHTO community to develop the Manual on Uniform Traffic Control Devices. Chapter Six talks about temporary traffic control measures and outlines the particular signs that you need, the striping that is needed, the tapers that should be used to move traffic over from one lane to another. It provides some specific requirements as far as what the motorists should do and how the States and the contractors should outline their work zone.
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    The benefit from this is to provide some uniformity so that when you are traveling through Nevada, you see the same thing as when you travel through Oklahoma, so it is not surprising. Driver expectation, it is something that you will normally see and be able to respond to in the same type of fashion.
    Also, there is the National Cooperative Highway Research Program, Report 350, the testing that we provide on the issue of safety appurtenances and highway traffic control devices, sign supports and things of that nature, so that they are responsive and can protect the motorist and the workers.
    So, there are several areas that we are involved with.
    Ms. BERKLEY. Let me ask you question. Do we have PSAs that we could put on the air to help educate? I know that you said you are working with the State DOTs, but I am wondering how much of that information actually gets to the driving public and is there a way that we could do that or is it the State DOT's responsibility to take the information you give and disseminate it?
    Mr. SCHIMMOLLER. Several States are very active in that regard, do the type of thing you talked about, PSA announcements and other ways of doing it. We have helped work with them in developing PSAs.
    We occasionally have a National type of public relations program. We will do it, for example, for Memorial Day weekend. But, it is generally the State that implements those types of announcements.
    Ms. BERKLEY. Thanks a lot.
    Mr. PETRI. Thank you.
    Mrs. Kelly, do you have any questions?
    Mrs. KELLY. Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
    I wonder if what we have been talking about is based on voluntary compliance. This outline of what needs to be done and so forth, is that based on voluntary compliance? Any one of you can answer that. I just don't know the answer.
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    Mr. CARLSON. Well, the States set the standards and the contractors comply with them. Believe me, on the part of the States, on the part of the contractors, it is our people out there, their people out there. We are going to do as much as we can to provide the protections that they can.
    To get voluntary compliance with the things that we put out there on the road for the safety of the traveling public requires educating the public to understand how difficult it is to get through these construction zones and why they need to have some patience and be observant as they go through the construction zones.
    Other than the normal traffic violation statutes in each of the States, I don't think there is any other thing in the way of trying to get compliance from people other than the education activities.
    Mrs. KELLY. No penalties attached?
    Mr. CARLSON. Not specific to work zones.
    Mrs. KELLY. There are penalties, as I understand it, for people who do not observe the speed limits and so forth, the flagmen and so forth. Each State has their own penalty line for that; is that not correct?
    Mr. CARLSON. Yes.
    Mrs. KELLY. I am wondering again whether or not because these bids are let by State, if the prior safety record of the people who bidding the contracts is a part of what is taken into consideration when a communicate is let.
    Does that happen in any State in the Union, as far as you know?
    Mr. CARLSON. I don't know of any State that keeps records on the safety performance of contractors. I think part of the reason is and Mr. MacGillivray might be able to help me here but since we specific with the Manual on Uniform Traffic Control Devices what is necessary out on those projects, I am not sure that that would be very workable.
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    Mrs. KELLY. Mr. Schimmoller, do you know the answer to that?
    Mr. SCHIMMOLLER. Mrs. Kelly, I don't know of any States that actually do that type of thing, although there are discussions underway in a Steering Committee that we have formed with industry and with States to look at that and to look at the possibility to get away from just the low bid to look at some way of addressing that particular issue. But there is not any State that I am aware of today that has that type of thing in existence.
    Mrs. KELLY. Do you think it would be helpful if there were Federal guidelines that allowed States to take the bidding contractor's safety records into consideration when the bids are let and let that be a factor of who gets the contract?
    Mr. SCHIMMOLLER. That could be a way. There are other things that are looked at and there are other factors when you look at pre-qualifying contractors that are considered in the mix when States do pre-qualify contractors. There are other issues, perhaps environmental issues and their environmental treatment, things like that could be used as factors. Safety could be used as a factor also.
    As I say, to date I don't think it has been, but it is something that certainly could be discussed and explored further with the State DOTs.
    Mrs. KELLY. As far as I know, we don't have any Federal legislation that would allow States to opt into that kind of a situation, as far as I know. Do you know of any?
    Mr. SCHIMMOLLER. States could opt into it if they wished. I don't think there is any mandatory thing or a preclusion of the States from doing it if they so elected.
    We don't have any guidelines or regulations out there to go either way on that, Mrs. Kelly.
    Mrs. KELLY. One of the problems I know that contractors have is that they can provide their workers with all kinds of safety equipment and the workers simply sometimes don't use it because it is hot, it is inconvenient. For one reason or another, they don't use it.
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    It is very difficult sometimes on these larger jobs to know who is using what and at what time and to monitor the staff itself. I am wondering if there is anything out there that the States write in that would help.
    Mr. SCHIMMOLLER. Perhaps Dean wants to respond to that. I don't have anything specific to respond to that, Mrs. Kelly. The only thing I would add to what I said before is that in most cases it is the driver who is at fault.
    I mean we can do improvements and contractors can make some improvements, but it is usually the driver who is at fault, who causes the event to happen, not in every case, but that is predominantly the situation.
    Mrs. KELLY. I also wanted to close by saying that I thank you for these new signs. They are fun. They are enjoyable to pass. I think they actually make the point far more. I have heard my constituents talk about them, laugh about them, and understand that we are really working toward worker safety.
    Thank you very much.
    Mr. PETRI. Thank you, Mrs. Kelly.
    Colonel Boswell, do you have any questions?
    Mr. BOSWELL. Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
    I would like to welcome a long-time friend and acquaintance from Iowa, Mr. MacGillivray; it is good to have you here.
    Mr. MACGILLIVRAY. Thank you.
    Mr. BOSWELL. It seems to me like in looking over your statement I wasn't here to hear your presentation but you kind of submit that there needs to be a combined effort. Would you want to make any further comment on that, how we can bring down these accident rates?
    The contractors have got to obviously do better. We have to educate the drivers better. Those that double up on the fines out there seem to get some folks' attention for a while. I was kind of in on that with you sometimes back.
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    Mr. MACGILLIVRAY. I recall when you served as President of one of our legislative houses and led us into fines doubled, in fact. Does that not sound familiar?
    I think that the emphasis on training employees, contractor, DOT, I think that is a very important element. It can't be over-emphasized. We have done it for many, many years. We think we have seen a terrific payoff from that. We now carry it to the extent of requiring that some of those employees for special duties be certified as to their competency, things like floggers, traffic control officers with contractors on more complex jobs.
    I think this raises the level of performance. We are talking about contractor performance. We were asked the same question that Mrs. Kelly asked a couple of years ago and investigated.
    What we did find from our review is that contractors were not a significant contributor to the problem in work zones. In fact basically their performance was quite outstanding.
    One of our concerns is that we need the opportunity to continue our investigations and look even further into performance and start applying, as the doctor would call it, forensic engineering.
    There are some legal impediments to being able to do that today in the way of confidentiality of our work versus having it used against us in a courtroom that kind of intimidate the engineer from going out and doing that type of work.
    We would like you to consider some type of assistance for us on that type of topic.
    Mr. BOSWELL. Well then your interest is toward technology?
    Mr. MACGILLIVRAY. Very much. We see technology coming into play. Some of the new communication devices that we have experimented with that we already see on the road, the speed trailers and a variety of other things. But I think that we have a opportunity here to see what we call adaptive cruise control or a device that tells you that you are closing on another vehicle or barrier and a lot faster than you think you are and give you the driver, even the experienced driver, the help, as I pointed out, 110 mile an hour rate of closure on something.
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    Most of us are not NASCAR drivers and aren't capable of coping with. The other thing we have experienced is that we have many, many work zones. We only have 500 State highway patrolmen. Having them out on the road, while they add greatly to safety and help with enforcement, there not very many to cover an awful lot. We need to look at how to help them to be more effective. Their effort in the work zone itself is hampered. It is very difficult to be safe and provide enforcement.
    We think technology can assist them in ways that we have not developed to do on-site enforcement in a more effective and a safer manner. This message will get across to the traveling public.
    Mr. BOSWELL. If you could just tell this committee and this Congress what to do to provide you the science, technology, whatever, what would be your first two items?
    Mr. MACGILLIVRAY. I would like to see those in-vehicle devices deployed as soon as possible, particularly beginning with large trucks. We heard some testimony about the frequency and the severity of large trucks in rear end collisions. They are the predominant mode of the most serious accidents that we have. I think technology to assist enforcement. Those are the two things that are feasible to do today.
    Mr. BOSWELL. Well, thank you very much. It is good to see you again.
    Mr. MACGILLIVRAY. Thank you.
    Mr. PETRI. Mr. Simmons.
    Mr. SIMMONS. Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
    I appreciate having the opportunity to listen to the panel and I look forward to the next panel. I served six years as Ranking Member on the Transportation Committee in Connecticut. Connecticut is a small State, densely populated with a lot of transportation issues. There are a lot of interstates in Connecticut. I noticed our casualty rate in 1999 was five deaths, which was five too many.
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    But for a State with the roads we have and the population we have, I think it is relatively low for several reasons. Five years ago we had a high number and we implemented several proposals. One of the best was doubling the fines.
    Number two is making sure the State Trooper doesn't just sit there. I can't tell you how many work zones I have been through where the cop is sitting in the car. It doesn't do any good in a car.
    Number three, when you set up the work zone, that is often the most dangerous time. People are moving around and it is not set in place yet. That is the most dangerous time. Breaking it down is dangerous. So, we would incentivize the police during those periods of time to be actively involved, not just sitting in a vehicle.
    I am also intrigued by your comments about smart cars or trucks in this case, and smart roads. By the end of next year we should have a smart highway from the New York border to Rhode Island. I-95 will be smart for the whole distance. But the real solution in these densely populated areas and in the work zones, in my opinion, is smart roads combined with smart vehicles, because it seems to me that either you have confused or disoriented drivers that cause the accidents or angry drivers. They are angry because often they are delayed. They don't know about the delay. They have not factored it in. That contributes to their erratic driving behavior.
    Many of the other drivers are lost. They are confused. Smarter highways and smarter communication with the drivers can help that.
    I would be interested to know if we equipped the trucks, the 18-wheelers, I assume, the work trucks, with that equipment, what is the cost going to be and where would the cost be borne?
    Mr. MACGILLIVRAY. At this time I have not seen any production-related cost estimates for such equipment. We would anticipate that the costs would be borne as a part of the vehicle manufacturing process or after-market retrofits.
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    Mr. SIMMONS. My second question: It has been recommended that any work zone projects on the Interstate or with substantial Federal assistance should be subject to more stringent rules. That would obviously increase the cost.
    Do any of the panel have any recommendations for how those rules might be implemented and who would bear the cost?
    Mr. SCHIMMOLLER. The type of things you are talking about, the work zones are critical no matter where they are at. I think the States generally, at least to my knowledge, use the same type of practices on their particular projects as they do on Federal-aid projects. They are dealing with the same contractors; they are dealing with the same design plans. So, they do have the same.
    They use the Manual on Uniform Traffic Control Devices as their guide. My experience, having worked with a number of different States, is that they use that pretty much as a standard across their entire program. They do not pull out a different set of ways for handling traffic when they do a State project than they do with a Federal-aid project.
    That is my experience. Mr. Carlson might have something else to add.
    Mr. MACGILLIVRAY. Mr. Simmons, I might add that we have 500 to 600 highway construction projects a year. A smaller number of them are Federal aid. The majority involves a construction zone. We have 130 maintenance garages with anything from one to six crews. Each of those is out on the road almost every day. Much of the time they also have a work zone. A larger number of our work zones involve maintenance work. The larger number of work zones we have with construction and maintenance don't involve Federal aid.
    We believe we should apply the same practices, standards and expectation no matter what the source of funding is. They need to be the highest. That is one reason we put extreme emphasis on training and on education for our workers, on certified performers in key leadership roles.
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    Mr. SIMMONS. A final question: Jersey barriers, I think almost everybody I know who works on the highway or does construction realizes that they provide a level of comfort that is much higher than signs of policing or higher fines. It is a physical barrier.
    To what extent should those be mandated on all construction projects and maybe even on certain types of maintenance projects?
    Mr. CARLSON. When we first started developing the Jersey barriers, we attempted to have all States to use Jersey barriers for positive separation. Our experience with it wasn't as good as we would have liked.
    We have done a lot of experimenting on different types of things on the Interstate where we have to run traffic on one side of the Interstate versus having it separated like it normally is.
    We found out that depending on the amount of traffic and the amount of speed differentials that you have, that really we are doing a fairly safe job of separating traffic on four-lane highways where we have to use two lanes at one time without using barriers.
    I think that there are special applications for barriers that we need to continue to use them for. Most of our contractors have access to some barriers, New Jersey type barriers.
    I think that one point I would make, I used to work for the federal government and I found out that it is very difficult to write regulations for one-size-fits-all. I think every State has a very deep desire to provide the safest possible situation for their traffic.
    I would say that one of the reasons that Connecticut has a very good record, and I commend them for it, is that they do have a much more dense situation than we do so that they keep their speeds down. If you are in western Kansas, there is nobody but you and God out there to see how fast you drive.
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    Then when there is an accident, the impacts at higher speeds, the laws of physics take over and we kill more people in those kinds of crashes than you do with people driving 35 or 45. It is just one of the facts of life.
    So, my pitch is we probably can't do anything that would really be terribly helpful to have a one-size-fits-all solution. I think the States have to be encouraged to do the type of work that they are doing. Believe me, we all want to have a success in this area.
    Mr. SIMMONS. Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
    Mr. PETRI. Thank you.
    Mr. Shuster.
    Mr. SHUSTER. Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
    I thank the panel for being here today. I appreciate the testimony.
    The question I have is, you mentioned about the limited number of State police and troopers out there on the highways. Are we utilizing things like cameras to enforce the laws out there in work zones?
    Mr. SCHIMMOLLER. Mr. Shuster, I am not aware of any State that is using that type of thing. I believe that it is another tool that could be used. A work zone possibly could be an operational laboratory to see how effective it would be because I don't know of any experience we have in that particular area.
    I might touch on another thing, one comment that I think Mr. Borski made as far as the AGC work meeting that they had. It was one of the things that was brought out in that particular one. It was that police, in many cases, do not have a place to pull people over. So, it is very restrictive in some of the work zones.
    It might fit very well in one of those situations where you have a very restricted work zone to try to use some of that technology and, as I say, as a workshop laboratory on gaining some experience in this regard.
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    Mr. MACGILLIVRAY. Mr. Shuster, I might add that in our State, Iowa, we have experimented with the use of detection devices similar to cameras to identify at least speeders in work zones and to provide an opportunity to give enforcement officers on the side of the road detection of those vehicles without them having to be in the middle of that traffic stream and/or interdict traffic at the most dangerous location.
    So, some preliminary research has been done. I think it shows great promise.
    Mr. SHUSTER. Is there any reason why we are not doing it that you know of?
    Mr. MACGILLIVRAY. It is an emerging technology.
    Mr. CARLSON. One other thing that I would mention is that the way that funds have been appropriated under TEA-21, it used to be that the Federal Highway Administration had the capability of doing some research at the national level that helped us all in these kinds of areas. Their research budget had been somewhat restricted recently. They have not had the ability to do some things that individual States can't do on their own.
    If it is possible to make a pitch for having adequate funds for research at the Federal level, I think that the States, many of them, would like to see that happen. In fact, in some areas not connected with safety, but we are actually pooling our own money to replace some of the work under research that the Feds had previously been doing.
    So, we would like to be able to do more research in this area. I think we would be able to get some payoffs in some things that would help us in work zones.
    Mr. SCHIMMOLLER. Mr. Shuster, I would just like to comment a little bit on that. We have a variable speed limit operational test that is coming out very soon, perhaps in September. The idea there is to look at different technologies and different ways of handling it.
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    We are hoping that one of the States, when they make application, that could be possibly a technique that could be used. The camera is in one of their submissions.
    Mr. SHUSTER. You mentioned that it was emerging technology. It seems to me that we have it out there in places like malls in security cameras. Again, I am not an engineer, but I don't know why it would be extremely difficult.
    In Europe, I believe that is the way they enforce the speed limit over there. They don't have troopers alongside the road. It seems to me that it would be out there in some application other than this that we could utilize.
    My second question, Mr. Schimmoller, you mentioned closing down roadways for projects. Is that really feasible? Most of the projects I pass by, I don't know how they would do that. In some cases, I am sure they can.
    Mr. SCHIMMOLLER. It is possible. It definitely doesn't fit every situation. There was an example on I-95 in Delaware where they closed down a seven or eight-mile section of I-95. They have a route that they were able to use to reroute traffic. It worked very well. They completed about a two- or three-year project in nine months. They were able to do it because the contractor had full availability of the route. There was also a project in Louisville, Kentucky on I-65 where they closed the lane from 8:00 Friday night until 4:00 a.m. on Monday morning. They gave the contractor full use of that particular roadway and they were able to do a much more effective job, and again, with zero fatalities.
    Because of significant advance warning and public outreach, the report was they had actually less problems with congestion on that particular weekend than they had on any other weekend with the lanes open. That was because of telling people to stay home if you don't have to go, or avoid it. You know, give them an option to avoid that particular location. So, there are examples that are available and have been used. I think it is something that we as a transportation community need to look at and expand our thinking to those types of options, when it fits. It doesn't fit all cases, but there are options when it does.
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    Mr. SHUSTER. I see my time has expired. Thank you.
    Mr. PETRI. Thank you.
    Mr. Borski.
    Mr. BORSKI. Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
    Let me follow up my colleague from Pennsylvania's question, if I can, because I am somewhat familiar with the I-95 in Delaware situation. The reason they were able to do that, they had a parallel I-495 that could take the traffic. This is an unusual situation, it seems to me, to have parallel super highways running along.
    But are we getting enough fatalities to start looking at this a little more serious that we should be closing off construction sites?
    How did that Delaware experience work? Did they save a lot of money?
    Mr. SCHIMMOLLER. Mr. Borski, yes, they saved a significant amount of money on that particular project just because they were able to get it finished much quicker with the contractor getting full access to the roadway. It is very costly for a contractor to work under traffic. So, it is a much better situation.
    I think we need to look at that very seriously. That particular situation lent itself very well to that type of thing. Not all cases, and probably few cases are going to be that easy to make it happen. But I think it can be done.
    You know, in the District on New York Avenue, they closed one here this spring and closed it for a day and a half or overnight to all traffic and did the paving.
    So there are options and there are opportunities. I think we need to seriously look at them as to what really makes sense for the location.
    Mr. BORSKI. That was one of the items on the list, the AGC submitted. I wanted to ask a question on that, too. Maybe I will start with you, Mr. Carlson, if I can. They hosted a highway work zone safety summit. Number seven was of course, DOT's order to consider closing the construction sites. If you want to comment on that, too, Mr. Schimmoller, I would be happy to hear what you have to say.
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    I really was interested in number six on their agenda. My conversations with contractors back home indicate that these are very competitive situations. My concern is, does highway safety wind up being diminished because of the bid process and should we be looking at a process that is coming out of these recommendations that bid items for safety should be included in the contract so that there is no disparity, there is no cheating, there is no letting up on safety; that the everyone understands that this is a fixed cost of this project.
    Mr. CARLSON. We have had this discussion over the last 25 years. It is very difficult to decide exactly which way to go. If you use lump sum, then if you are not as diligent in day-to-day observation of what is out there and things, sometimes things don't get taken care of as well as they should because there is an incentive not to do everything that you might otherwise do.
    On the other hand, if you use unit prices for every piece of equipment, every light and every stripe that you put down, you can get into the other situation where contractors are very capable of using the information in the bid package to maximize their returns.
    You may end up with many more things than you really thought you needed. So, my answer to that, again, is one that you have to look at the type of a project you are building and decide how much of that you can do as a lump sum and how much of it you really need unit bid prices so that you can control the work that the contractor does.
    I think really, in general, they are with us on that. I think that they are interested in the safety of their people as are we. I believe that they were say that neither technique is exactly a panacea and that we ought to have the flexibility to work with the AGC chapters in our States and come up with ways of best handling that situation.
    I don't think either lump sum or complete unit price is necessarily an answer forever.
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    Mr. BORSKI. I also want to ask about distracted drivers. We had a hearing on that earlier. A frightening thought to me is a person on a cell phone driving through a work zone. Do we have any data on that? It seems to me, and I often say this and I will probably get in trouble, but if you are in Washington and you see somebody being a non-observant driver, it is one of two things: Either it is a diplomat or somebody on a cell phone.
    Mr. CARLSON. Well, certainly New York has taken a lead, I believe, with passing legislation against hand-held cell phones while driving. We have not done anything like that in my State.
    I have to say this: I just bought a new vehicle. It has an in-vehicle navigation system. My wife has already told me that it is more dangerous than a cell phone and to lay off of it while you are moving.
    So, we are introducing distractions into the vehicles. I believe we are going to have to be very cognizant of whether or not you can legislate things like that. I know one of the cartoons in the local paper said that they are going to outlaw drinking coffee while you are driving, which obviously is not going to happen.
    I don't have a good answer. I don't believe that there is any research yet that would say that there is a significant increase in safety deficiency by cell phones, specifically, because then you start getting into lipstick in the rearview mirror on the way to work and all kinds of issues I don't know if I ever want to get into.
    Mr. BORSKI. Maybe we should have a sign, ''No distractions. You are in a work zone.''
    Mr. MacGillivray, would you care to comment on that?
    Mr. MACGILLIVRAY. I think distractions in general are a very serious problem. What we need is the vehicle, the device to capture the attention back to eliminate that distraction. Those things could be in-vehicle and they can be roadside. We have had some great success with speed trailers as an example, of bringing to the driver's attention what they have lost track of, how fast are they driving.
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    I think we need to be looking more at some in-vehicle devices that can assist with that, too. That also helps with the drowsy driver.
    Mr. BORSKI. Well thank you.
    Thank you, Mr. Chairman. I want to thank our panel. I think this was very good testimony. I appreciate it.
    Mr. PETRI. Thank you.
    Mr. Horn, did you have another question?
    Mr. HORN. Thank you, Mr. Chairman. I have just two things. One is to insert in the record an excellent article by Mr. Jonathan D. Salant of the Associated Press that gets to the human aspects of all of the deaths, which have been involved in 1999. He has picked out several of those.
    I don't think one can just look at the numbers. This here is the people who went to jail or prison in that situation. So, I would like that in the record.
    Mr. PETRI. Without objection.
    Mr. HORN. I would like to ask just one question of Secretary Carlson. By the way, did you ever have a U.S. Senator in the family?
    Mr. CARLSON. Frank Carlson was no relation of mine. Swedes have a strange way of naming their children, so you can't tell who is related very well.
    Mr. HORN. Well, he was a marvelous person over there in the Senate. We wish we had a few more like him.
    We have heard a lot about law enforcement in the work zones. Some of the work zones appear to be staffed with off-duty police and the fake car bit, and also with regular duty police. Is there any standard for recommending the level of enforcement at work zones and are there standards for more enforcement at night or a particular type of work zone?
    Mr. CARLSON. We only randomly select what I would call ''hot spot'' enforcement. I know of no standards that exist that ask the police to do that.
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    We have the same problem as I believe Mr. MacGillivray indicated. I believe he said they have 500 troopers in Iowa. We have less than that in Kansas. It is a continuing issue for the Legislature to address the number of troopers that we need in order to take care of the things that they are responsible for. So, I don't think that we have tried to put out any standards.
    Mr. HORN. Thank you. Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
    Mr. PETRI. Thank you.
    I just have one or two questions. We have been talking about the problem. I guess the challenges posed by accidents in work zones and the fact that some nearly 900 people a year lose their lives, most of them, I guess, by large proportion are motorists, as opposed to workers, but a number of workers as well.
    I guess it is something in the neighborhood of 40,000 a year are killed on our nation's highways. So, this is about two percent, roughly. Has that ratio held or is it rising? Is the rise due to more work zones because we are spending more money on maintenance?
    Is this disproportionate? We are more of our work zones. They are obviously more dangerous because there is more activity going on. On the other hand, people usually perk up when there are dangerous situations. Sometimes if the road is too straight and uninteresting, that can be more dangerous than when there is a lot of activity going on because people fall asleep or become inattentive.
    So, is this really the cost of doing business in a sense? I mean two percent of the roads aren't being constructed at all times. I am just curious. Can you place this in context for us? Should we really be taking extraordinary efforts or pushing on this because it is worse than other causes of these 41,000 people dying on our highways?
    Mr. CARLSON. Well, I would say it is becoming more of a subject of attention all the time. I don't have any statistics for this, Mr. Chairman, so I apologize for not having better data, but during the construction of the interstate, when we were spending most of our money and most of our time on projects that were on new alignment, I think that we probably were not seeing the percentage of total fatalities from construction zones as we do now.
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    Obviously, it is because, as you pointed out, about 85 percent of our money is going into reconstruction. The public seems to demand that we cannot close off highways. It is very difficult to get the public to acquiesce to that.
    So, I think that the fact that we are having to have so many more work zones than we have in the past has probably been a factor in this. I think that is the challenge that we have as professionals in the business, is to try to accommodate that in the best manner possible and get those numbers back down.
    We have done it. For example, 20 years ago we were killing about 850 people a year on railroad grade crossings. Because of the work that has been done there and because of the funds that you people have set up for us to do railroad grade crossings, that is down in the 500 area.
    Making progress in this safety issue on fatalities is really tough, tough work. I don't think that my answer is very responsive, but I think that certainly it has probably been climbing as a percentage of total fatalities.
    Mr. SCHIMMOLLER. Mr. Chairman, I would just like to add a couple of comments. I agree with most of the things that Mr. Carlson has indicated. In looking at the bigger picture, it is delay and safety both that really concern us. It is mobility and the safety.
    To address your issue as far as the fatalities and injuries, over the recent past, going back maybe eight or ten years, I would say the trend is fairly steady. It is both in the total and in the work zones as far as fatalities. So, it is not a big change. But, the last couple of years there has been a slight increase, in the last two years, particularly, in that area. So, there has been some increase, but it is not a huge increase.
    Mr. PETRI. One way of cutting down on this problem is to have less. You say 88 percent of the construction is working on existing roads and resurfacing of maintaining. I suppose if we were to spend more so that roads last longer now some of this is upgrading and improving interchanges and things like that.
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    Is that a profitable area? Are there advances in materials or could we be thinking now that we no longer have to build things fast and dirty. We have the interstate system, which is our primary national concern, in place. Should we be giving serious thought and reauthorization to encouraging more permanent or lower maintenance roads, thicker concrete and things of this sort or isn't that a worthwhile strategy?
    Mr. SCHIMMOLLER. Mr. Chairman, I think that is a very worthwhile strategy. I think that in the last SHRP activities, we came out with the super-pave technology that they use on the new pavements. Newly designed materials are used to make a longer-lasting pavement structure.
    If you can reduce the number of times you have to go back in, if you can extend a pavement from seven years to ten years, that means in 20 years you have to go back one less time to have a work zone. Those are real savings.
    The same thing is true for bridge decks. There are long-lasting concrete designs that are being used. Many States are employing these techniques.
    That is an area that clearly has huge pay-offs. It is something where we need to continue the research activity to even extend that type of approach.
    Mr. PETRI. Good. Well, we hope the department will be assisting us or people in the business. The association may have some capability in terms of a big payoff in terms of savings in delays, savings in lives, perhaps even over the life cycle, if we extend the life cycle, a saving in money to think more strategically about some of this rather than putting up more signs and telling people to slow down and arresting them all.
    If we just don't have to do the project, that is the best situation of all for everyone except some people in the construction bus who like to keep busy. But I think we are going to find plenty of other things for them to do, if they can do it right. So, that shouldn't be a concern.
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    Well, we thank you very much for being with us today and helping to address a very important subject.
    Mr. SCHIMMOLLER. Thank you.
    Mr. PETRI. The second panel consists of Mr. Robert J. Desjardins, who is the President of the Associated General Contractors of American; Larry Edginton, Director of Safety and Health of the International Union of Operating Engineers; John Wight, who is Chairman of the American Road and Transportation Builders Association; Mr. Lawrence F. Yermack, Chairman, Intelligent Transportation Society of America; and Dennis Sterndahl, President of the American Traffic Safety Services Association.
    Gentlemen, welcome. You probably figured out how the system works here. Many of you are quite familiar, having appeared a number of times before this and other panels. So, we encourage you to summarize your prepared statements in five minutes. To assist you, there is a light which we will try to make as accurate as possible.
    We will begin with Mr. Desjardins.

    Mr. DESJARDINS. Good afternoon, Mr. Chairman, and Members of the Subcommittee. My name is Bob Desjardins. I am from Cianbro Corporation. Our headquarters are located in Pittsfield, Maine. I am also serving this year as President of the Associated General Contractors of America.
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    We really appreciate the opportunity to present testimony today about the results of the Work Zone Safety Summit that AGC coordinated and hosted on July 10th. I commend the subcommittee for holding this hearing and we join with your efforts to raise the profile of the issue of work zone safety.
    Mr. Chairman, as you know, from the time you spent with AGC members at our convention in Nashville, Tennessee, our members feel very deeply that improving work zone safety should be a top national priority. The number of deaths and injuries in the work zone are too high and they are increasing annually. This is a real tragedy.
    I personally can fully empathize with the individuals who have lost members of their families, friends and coworkers to a work zone accident. Eighteen months ago, my company lost an employee, Cliff Briggs, who was a 27-year veteran, as a result of a work zone accident in Maine.
    The impact on our company was devastating. Our employees are part of our extended family. We all mourn Cliff's loss. Just eight days after that fatality, another employee, Paul Anamna was very severely injured due to another work zone accident on New York Avenue here in Washington, D.C.
    As a result of these two accidents, we reviewed our procedures on highway work zones and we asked ourselves the question: What can we do to avoid injuries to our people in these work zones?
    We decided that we can't always control the traffic, but we can control the environment that our people work in. Therefore, we immediately implemented a policy that went well beyond the Federal safety requirement by requiring 100 percent physical protection, such as concrete barriers and truck-mounted attenuators between our employees and the traffic.
    Approximately 30 days after the New York Avenue incident, we had another incident on a project in Rockland, Maine. We were refacing the brick wall of the Farnsworth Museum there on Main Street, working from staging erected on the sidewalk. Because of our new policy, we placed concrete barriers along the edge of the sidewalk, protecting our workers from traffic on Main Street.
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    Shortly after the barriers were installed, a car veered off the street, hit the concrete barrier and wound up sitting partially on top of the concrete barrier. I would ask you what you might think would have happened if that barrier had not been placed there. The staging would likely have collapsed, sending workers to the ground along with the bricks that were piled on the staging. We would possibly have suffered another fatality.
    The sad truth, though, is that many AGC members and other contractors could tell similar stories about fatalities and severe injuries in highway work zones. Of course, these tragedies do not stop there. DOT employees, law enforcement officers, emergency response workers, motorists, truckers and others have also been victims to work zone accidents.
    Our goal really must be to eliminate these accidents, injuries and fatalities. To achieve this goal, AGC coordinated and hosted the Highway Work Zone Summit on July 10th. The summit Washington a roll-up-your-sleeves work session that was organized to bring together all of the key stakeholders to develop a national strategy to address this problem.
    I believe that it is time for all of the parties with a vested interest in the highway system to work together to address this problem. We had a tremendous turnout from the construction industry, including both labor and management, government at the national, State, and local levels, highway users including both automobile and truck drivers, law enforcement organizations, the insurance industry and other interested groups.
    The summit was designed to develop real solutions to very real problems. I am here to report that it was a tremendous success and produced over 50 solid recommendations. AGC has reviewed all the suggestions and put together a detailed action plan that will identify the recommendations, impediments to implementing the actions, implementation strategy and what additional information is needed to accomplish the recommendations.
    This action plan is included in my written testimony. For now, I will highlight a few of the recommendations that came out of the summit, the top seven. First, the work zone safety management, we feel must be elevated to a very high level of importance among construction companies as it is in my company and also with State DOTs and law enforcement agencies.
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    Second, ITS technology should be more widely used to positively impact work zone safety. ITS technology can be used to warn motorists of what type of work zone is ahead and whether there are alternate routes that they can use.
    Third, greater use of trained law enforcement officers and more enforcement. Police presence at work zones does slow the traffic down. People quite often speed through these work zones to get home five minutes sooner, while we want to see that our workers get home after work each day.
    Fourth, increased used of communications with the public, trucking industry and workers on work zone safety issues.
    Fifth, driver education programs, including those of both new and experienced drivers, including truck drivers, should include work zone safety as a specific topic.
    Six, bid items for safety improvement should be included in construction contracts. The idea is that safety items should be a priority and the money for safety items should be taken off the top of the project costs. This would take the safety items out of the competitive bid process. Moreover, it would ensure that all contractors actually use the necessary safety precautions and that there is no penalty for using additional safety measures if the job warrants it.
    Lastly, DOT should consider closing the road as a first option when planning construction activities. This will make the work zone safer and allow the projects to be completed much faster.
    In closing, I appreciate the opportunity to testify today and present the results of the Work Zone Safety Summit. As we have discussed, the summit is only the beginning. The implementation of the action plan is the key.
    AGC intends to provide the leadership to coordinate the implementation of this plan. AGC looks forward to working closely with members of the subcommittee throughout reauthorization to help eliminate the tragedies that are occurring far too often in our nation's work zones.
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    Again, I commend you for holding this hearing. I appreciate the opportunity to be here and will be glad to answer some questions.
    Mr. PETRI. Thank you.
    Mr. Edginton?

    Mr. EDGINTON. Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
    I am Larry Edginton. I am the Director of Safety and Health for the International Union of Operating Engineers. On behalf of our General President, Frank Hanley, I would like to thank you for the opportunity to testify today.
    The IUOE represents more than 300,000 men and women would work in the highway construction work zones in this country. We also represent more than an additional 20,000 men and women employed by State and local governments doing street and highway maintenance work. In sum, we think we are well qualified to comment on this subject.
    We think that the views that we are going to offer today would be echoed by many of the other crafts employed in the work zones. We know that the labor's International Union of North America has labored long and hard in this area. We know they have submitted written comments for the record today and we encourage you to review those.
    You have previously heard from other witnesses about the state of affairs in the work zone. I don't care to revisit that, other than to simply say from our organization's point of view, things aren't getting much better. Perhaps there is even anecdotal evidence to suggest that in fact things are beginning to get worse. Now is the time to take action.
    What can we do about it? I would like to talk a little bit about that because we have some pretty definite ideas, many of which involve the Federal Highway Administration.
    One, first and foremost, we believe that as the first option, the closure of roads or highways should always be considered when doing roadwork. When that is not feasible, positive or protection for the workers should always be product.
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    Secondly, that the Federal Highway Administration require all funding recipients to include as a condition of their construction rehabilitation contracts, specific requirements for work zone safety. These requirements should be specific to protecting construction workers as well as the motoring public.
    Worker safety training should be a mandatory program component. This training should be both a generalized work zone safety training and one on the job there should be site-specific training.
    The Federal Highway Administration should require transportation funding recipients to develop and implement procedures to obtain work zone safety input from contractors, workers, law enforcement at the earliest stages of a project planning process. Their input should be included in the project specifications for safety.
    This will lessen pressures created by the use of the competitive bidding process. It is our understanding that the State of New Jersey is beginning to do some work in this area. Work zone safety plans should be evaluated on the basis of technical feasibility and level of protection offered to construction workers.
    The requirement should not be listed as only a line item cost in the bid. Costs for work zone safety should be evaluated separately from all other construction costs. When all other construction costs are equal, contracts should be awarded on the basis of superior and public protection being offered.
    Highway Transportation funding recipients, that is the States, should be required to take steps to increase penalties for all types of moving violations that occur within the work zone. For example, doubling fines for speeding only is not enough. Fines should be increased for DUI, reckless driving, throwing objects, et cetera.
    In our opinion, it may be also considerate to impose criminal penalties for many of these violations as it currently looks like they are going to be doing in the State of Michigan for certain violations.
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    The Federal Highway Administration, using the input of Highway Transportation funding recipients, contractors, labor organizations and other technical experts, should develop work safety guidelines for night work. Once developed, the guidelines should be incorporated into all construction, rehabilitation and maintenance contracts.
    The Federal Highway Administration should encourage funding recipients to use performance incentives for work zone safety in their contracts. Rewarding contractors solely for early completion has the potential to compromise work zone safety, in our opinion.
    The Federal Highway Administration should discourage the use of early completion bonuses unless, and only if, commensurate consideration was given to safety throughout the term of the contract.
    The Highway Transportation funding recipients should be required to develop and implement innovative improvements in work zone safety technology and work processes. Innovative technology and work process programs should use a tripartite model with government, contractor and labor organization participation.
    The Federal Highway Administration, in cooperation with contractors, labor organizations, safety equipment manufacturers, construction equipment manufacturers and other experts should develop a risk analysis matrix for highway construction, rehabilitation and maintenance work processes.
    This information could provide guidance to contractors regarding implementation of appropriate administrative and engineering controls, construction equipment selection, and worker personal protective equipment needs.
    The Occupational Safety and Health Administration also has a role to plan in this, from our point of view.
    One, they need to update 29 CFR, Subpart G and Subpart O to incorporate industry best practices. In terms of Subpart O, which covers off-road and highway equipment, we think that the negotiated rulemaking process would be a good model to follow there.
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    With respect to updating signs, signals and barricades, we think they ought to consider using direct rulemaking for that.
    OSHA should also continue with their special emphasis programs for highway construction and rehabilitation projects. However, correcting safety and health hazards, not just citations, should really be the primary focus of their programs.
    NIOSH also has a role to play. Previously they have conducted research in the area of work zone safety. We think there is additional work to be done there in terms of what happens within the work zone. We have more to learn there.
    There are additional issues associated with night work, silica exposure and noise, for example, that they could play a role in.
    There is plenty of work for everybody. I know that many people might say that the challenge is too big and the problems are too tough.
    I guess my question to all of us would be then, if we can't or we won't, who will? If what we have is working well, how do we explain the increasing death and injury rates, or alternately, if what we have works as well as can be expected, aren't our expectations too low? Isn't even one death too many?
    I have represented working men and women for more than 25 years. If there is one important lesson I have learned, that is that no worker, no matter their occupation expects to walk out the door that day and never to come home. There is no family that ever expects their loved one not to return from work. But this continues to happen.
    In closing, I believe we have a tremendous opportunity before us. Clearly, I think momentum is building. The interest is here. Let us not lose this. Thank you for the opportunity to be here.
    Mr. PETRI. Mr. Wight?

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    Mr. WIGHT. Good afternoon, Mr. Chairman and members of the subcommittee. I am John Wight, 2001 Chairman of the American Road and Transportation Builders Association, which is based here in Washington.
    I am also an Executive Vice President of the HNTB Corporation in New Jersey. ARTBA will celebrate its 100th anniversary next year and has over 5,000 members across the nation.
    The transportation construction industry we represent generates more than $185 billion annually in the U.S. economic activity and sustains 2.2 million American jobs.
    At the outset, I would like to thank Chairman Petri and all members of the subcommittee for convening this important hearing. All of us involved in road improvement programs have a moral obligation to ensure that we are carrying out this work in the safest, most efficient manner possible.
    ARTBA brings a unique perspective to this hearing. We are the only national organization that has as members representatives from all parties involved in the design, set up and management of roadway construction work zones in both the public and private sectors.
    ARTBA has been using this unique federation structure for its network of State contractor chapters to address roadway work zone safety challenges in a comprehensive manner for decades.
    Roadway work zone safety is a complex, multifaceted problem that unfortunately does not lend itself to simple answers. If it did, the problem would have been solved long ago because many have been attacking it for years from many angles. Without these efforts, the tragedy would have been undoubtedly even worse.
    In recent years, thankfully, this issue is finally beginning to receive the visibility and public profile that it deserves, a profile that demands action. This is due in part to the momentum generated by initiation, development and subsequent marketing of the National Work Zone Safety Information Clearinghouse, a research, education and public awareness project mandated by this committee in 1995.
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    Since 1985, ARTBA has convened three national conferences and a symposium on roadway work zone safety to focus attention on the issue and to develop consensus plans for action. Our most recent conference was held this past May in St. Louis, with over 200 in attendance from all facets of the industry.
    Those concerned with work zone injuries and fatalities worked with this committee to move many of the recommendations from past conferences forward. For example, in 1991, Section 1051 of ISTEA required the Secretary of Transportation to develop and implement a National Work Zone Safety Program.
    Section 358 of the National Highway System Designation Act of 1995 provided the U.S. DOT with even more explicit direction in this area. Section 358 remains a good blueprint for Federal action.
    We would urge the Congress to make sure that the U.S. DOT has significant dedicated financial resources available to fully implement Section 3358.
    Thanks in large measure to the leadership of this subcommittee and the Federal Highway Administration, the National Work Zone Safety Information Clearinghouse mandated by Section 358 is now a reality and is serving over 24,000 users annually.
    After three years of partial Federal funding to develop the clearinghouse, today it is operated by the ARTBA Transportation Development Foundation with continuing financial support from AASHTO, Laborers International Union of North America, the CNA Commercial Insurance Company, the National Association of County Engineers, the International Municipal Signal Association, and the Texas Transportation Institute.
    The Clearinghouse, which is housed at TTI in College Station, Texas, is the world's most comprehensive information resource on the topic. It offers searchable data bases on best practices, safety plans, public education and awareness programs, research results and information on safety products, sources and resources.
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    Mr. Chairman, modest Federal support for the Clearinghouse would be put to good use in helping ensure that its library is continually updated and expanded. We are also seeking Federal support for the creation of a National Transportation Safety Center at the Texas Transportation Institute to facilitate targeted research in this area that will lead to a new generation of safety training programs.
    Many have offered good suggestions and recommendations today. There are three things, however, that we think could make a real difference and need immediate attention.
    Number one, collectively we need to put a human face on the tragedy of roadway construction, work zone fatalities and injuries. That is the aim of the scholarship program ARTBA initiated in 1999 for the children of highway workers killed or permanently disabled on the job.
    Much more needs to be done in this area. Federal leadership and resources are critical.
    Two, all State and local government contracts for highway and bridge work using Federal dollars should include earmarked funding for products and activities including visible police presence at worksites to protect the safety of motorists and workers in construction zones.
    While some States have taken this approach, many others haven't. Safe work zones and the cost of providing them should be a shared responsibility of the public and the private sectors. This is a top ARTBA goal for TEA-21 authorization.
    Third, research needs to be conducted now about the health and safety implementations of doing roadwork at night. State and local governments are increasingly requiring night work in attempts to minimize inconvenience to motorists. Let us make sure we are not compromising safety in doing that.
    Mr. Chairman, over the past decade, you and this committee have played a progressive leadership role in combating roadway construction zone accidents through ISTEA, the NHS Act and TEA-21. We thank you for your leadership and pledge to continue to work with you and others to address this critical issue.
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    I will be happy to try to answer questions you might have.
    Mr. PETRI. Thank you.
    Mr. Yermack?

    Mr. YERMACK. Thank you, Mr. Chairman. Ranking Member Borski and members of the subcommittee. We appreciate the opportunity to share our views with you this afternoon on this sensitive issue of highway safety.
    My name is Larry Yermack. I am Chairman of the Board of the Intelligent Transportation Society of America. ITS America was incorporated in August 1990 as a scientific and educational society dedicated to the use of the latest technologies in surface transportation, aiming to save lives, time and money.
    Our members include government agencies, private industry, associations and universities. Since 1991, ITS America has served as a utilized Federal advisory committee to the U.S. Department of Transportation.
    I am also President of PB Farradyne, Parson Brinckerhoff's intelligent transportation systems company. I share your concern about the growing death toll in the work zones. There is no need to repeat to this committee the figures that we have heard all afternoon about the rise in deaths in work zones over the last several years.
    Tragically, the only information that we still have is from 1999. I fear that the numbers for 2000 and 2001 might even show more significant increases than the ones we have seen.
    We clearly need to reverse this trend as soon as possible. While ITS technologies are already being applied to this problem, their potential contribution can be much greater. One way to help with the work zone problem is to make travelers aware of them before beginning their trip. Knowing work zone locations might lead some to choose alternate routes or perhaps to forego a trip entirely.
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    Advance traveler information systems have been around for sometime. But the need to remember a ten-digit telephone number has slowed their use. Last year the FCC decided to permit the use of 511 as a traveler information number. We believe that this will lead to greater use of traveler information by the public.
    The first 511 system was inaugurated in the Cincinnati area in June of this year. Other early deployments are planned. The eventual national rollout of 511 should help mitigate the problem as work zone information will be an integral part of the 511 service.
    Speeds through work zones are often too high for conditions. Reducing approach speeds require communicating with drivers well in advance of the work zone. Dynamic message signs provide information and speed reduction warnings.
    One system aimed mainly at the trucking community is called the Wizard CB Alert system and informs truckers at 30-second intervals of work zone conditions ahead. Research has shown the system to be at least modestly effective.
    Another device being applied is the speed monitoring display, a dynamic message sign displaying a vehicle's speed based on a radar speed-measuring sensor. Research has shown that speeds are reduced using this system.
    In some areas motorists approaching work zones are being provided real-time information on delay and travel time through a work zone. The information is gathered from sensing devices in and near the work zone and it is conveyed to motorists through variable message signs, highway advisory radio pagers and even hand-held Internet devices.
    These comprehensive approaches represent a major step forward in applying ITS technologies to the work zone problem. Some of ITS America's private sector members have developed considerable expertise in these areas. Many have been working with transportation agencies to apply it.
    Where do we go from here? Let me offer a few steps that might help. The application of ITS systems depends on knowledgeable officials and their staffs. Much progress has been made in this area through training and workshops sponsored by voluntary organizations and such institutions as the National Highway Institute sponsored by FHWA.
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    This work needs to be continued and expanded. Nearly every innovation involved in the application of technology cited here grew from a research project or field operational test. This activity must also be continued and expanded.
    The continued successful deployment of ITS technologies depends on national non-proprietary standards to encourage entrepreneurial solutions and to protect the taxpayer through competition.
    The U.S. DOT's ITS program office has accelerated standards work and I am proud to say that ITS America has been able to coordinate that effort. Many of the ideas of innovation come from private sector companies, large and small.
    There needs to be more cooperation between these companies and public agencies. One clear need is procurement reform. In traditional low-bid procurement often used by agencies, they are inappropriate for acquisition of technology-based products and systems.
    I would thank you, Mr. Chairman, for this opportunity to comment. I will certainly be happy to try to respond to any questions you may have.
    Mr. PETRI. Thank you.
    Mr. Sterndahl?

    Mr. STERNDAHL. Chairman Petri, Ranking Member Borski and distinguished members of the committee, I am Dennis Sterndahl, the President of Sterndahl Enterprises, a pavement marking and traffic safety company in southern California.
    I have been attempting to safely guide motorists along California roadways and work zones for 32 years now. I also serve as President of the American Traffic Safety Services Association, or ATSSA.
    I appreciate the opportunity to address you today on the topic of work zone safety.
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    ATSSA members make roads safer by manufacturing and installing pavements markings, signs, guardrails, crash cushions and other traffic safety devices nationwide. In addition, our members install, adjust and at the completion of the project, remove the traffic control devices and intelligent transportation systems technologies that make work zones safer and more efficient for motorists and workers alike.
    Our members are literally on the front lines of work zone safety every day. It is from that perspective that I address the committee this afternoon.
    The issue of work zone safety is a personal one for me also. Eleven years ago I had a 26-year old employee killed in a work zone crash. Kevin Smith was standing at the back of a truck preparing to begin work when a driver traveling an estimated 80 miles an hour crashed through the work zone and crushed Kevin against the back of the truck, killing Kevin instantly and the driver of the errant vehicle.
    That was a devastating time for my company and it was a traumatic experience to go back out on that piece of highway and finish the work that was not completed on the night of that incident.
    Work zone fatalities have steadily risen since 1997, as you have heard over and over again here today. How high do they have to go before significant changes in policy and enforcement become reality. How many will die this year, 1,000, 2,000?
    How can we reverse this trend? We asked the committee to consider five simple, yet powerful actions that would immediately improve the work zone safety and mobility environment. First, require that each person who actions affect the highway work zone on a Federal aid project from the designer to the supervisor down to each worker receive appropriate training for the decisions that they make.
    The motoring public should have confidence that trained professionals install roadway work zones and that work zones are designed, installed and maintained with a goal toward maximizing traffic flow and safety for the worker and motorist.
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    When the work zones are poorly designed, installed or maintained the resulting frustration lowers public confidence and tolerance for work zones and the workers in them. Second, we ask that Congress provide the Federal Highway Administration with funding to support public relations and industry efforts such as National Work Zone Awareness Week and National Work Zone Clearinghouse.
    Raising the level of awareness and educating the motoring public about the realities of the work zone is an absolute must.
    Third, we need to better study and evaluate what is happening today in roadway work zones by analyzing in greater detail work zone crash data and funding research designed to improve work zone practices.
    Fourth, require maximum protection for high-risk work zone situations. ATSSA requests that Congress begin by requiring that all Federal aid projects where the annual daily travel exceeds 50,000 vehicles or on a bridge project in excess of 25,000 vehicles, include a certified traffic control supervisor present during all phases of work zone adjustment.
    The designation of a person trained and certified in temporary traffic control practices to have the responsibility and authority to ensure compliance with the traffic control plan and require positive separation with concrete or other applicable barriers in the construction zone where operational speeds exceed 45 miles per hour unless the State certifies that it is unworkable for a specific work zone situation.
    Finally, we need to take steps to reduce motorists' speeds and enhance the public's respect for work zone signs. The majority of motorists ignore work zone speed signs. ATSSA calls on Congress to expand the ability of States to use Federal funds to engage law enforcement officers to strictly enforce work zone speed limits and to provide assistance during the installation of Federal aid project work zones.
    It is amazing how quickly motorists' behavior changes at the sight of a badge, a ticket book, and a uniform.
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    Mr. Chairman, Kevin Smith and many others cannot be here to ask for your support for stronger initiatives to promote work zone safety. ATSSA commits to work with the Congress, Federal Highways, AASHTO, other industry and labor organizations to support initiatives that will reduce work zone tragedies.
    Thanks for the opportunity to speak before you today. I will be happy to answer any questions that you might have.
    Mr. PETRI. Thank you. We thank all of you.
    Mr. Horn.
    Mr. HORN. Thank you, Mr. Chairman. I am impressed by all of your testimony here. I just want to ask Mr. Edginton, it is an amazing record that your union has on these projects all across America. I can certainly understand why it is a dangerous, dangerous life.
    You recommended to the Federal Highway Administration that they cooperate with you and the industry representatives to develop risk analysis matrix for highway construction. Can you explain to me what the matrix is and how it would work?
    Mr. EDGINTON. Thank you for the opportunity to answer that question. One, the idea behind it is not a one-size-fits-all approach to it, but rather to identify a range of typical tasks associated with highway construction or highway rehabilitation work, identify equipment used in those work processes, the types of workers employed in those work processes and begin to identify those risks associated with the work process, the equipment and time of day, et cetera, and those types of things to help us get a better handle on just how we think about work zone safety.
    Mr. HORN. Let me move to Mr. Sterndahl for a moment. You have developed training courses and certification for construction and maintenance employees. Do the State and local governments require the certifications that your group provides and can you describe how your programs work and how effective these training programs have been?
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    Mr. STERNDAHL. The first part of your question, some States do require certification for work zone workers and at various levels. Obviously, we would encourage more States to do the same. I am disappointed to tell you that my own State of California does not have that requirement.
    Mr. HORN. Well, I am in that State, too. I must say you get sick when you see the height of deaths on these particular situations.
    Mr. STERNDAHL. As far as the effectiveness of work zone training, I think that you can think of a lot of other industries that would not even consider sending someone out into an environment with that kind of danger present and not provide them with adequate and appropriate training for the work that they are expected to do.
    Mr. HORN. I would think with the Federal money going into all 50 States, that could be a condition. What do you think about that?
    Mr. STERNDAHL. ATSSA would certainly support that condition. We feel it is very, very important.
    Mr. HORN. What would be the next most important?
    Mr. STERNDAHL. The next other than training for the workers?
    Mr. HORN. Right.
    Mr. STERNDAHL. I made the comment that I have been attempting to control traffic in southern California for 32 years. I feel very strongly that there is an unfortunate lack of respect for orange signs and flashing yellow lights across the nation.
    It is a sad state of affairs. I think that one of the best things we can do right away is to try and better inform and educate the public and do a much stronger job of enforcement so that there are some real consequences for failing to show the proper respect for the men and women who work in our work zones today.
    Mr. HORN. I would like to hear from the others that I have not questioned. Given the fact that we put a lot of money into all the States, what is the key thing that from this standpoint that would be in accord with the Federal government giving the money to the States? What is the next thing we ought to do to lower the murder, if you will, because that is what it is when people are going 80 miles an hour.
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    Mr. DESJARDINS. I would like to address that if I could. Law enforcement is one that comes out loud and clear, more law enforcement and more trained specifically for work zones. In some of the States we work in, we work in 10 to 12 States, our company does. Some DOTs do a very good job. Connecticut was mentioned. They do a very good job.
    But in some of the States, when you go and ask for that additional enforcement, they say, well, we don't have the troopers and we don't have the money. We hear that too often. That is why one of the things that came out of our summit was that the cost of that law enforcement should be the cost of the project so it doesn't have to come out of the law enforcement agency's budget, if you will.
    In some States they are using off-duty State police so they have an opportunity to earn some extra money. But Federal funding for that effort, I think would help. The other thing is training. I agree with ATSSA that not all States require trained personnel. We do in our company. We require a trained traffic control supervisor on every project that is exposed to traffic. That is one step we have taken, too.
    Unfortunately, that training isn't always readily available. So, AGC has stepped up to the plate on that. We have produced a program for a traffic control supervisor-training course. Our chapters are beginning to take that program now and conduct that training on a local level.
    Before you can have a lot of those people, you have to have that training on a local level. AGC is helping to provide that.
    Mr. HORN. Should we have the law enforcement costs in the contract of that particular job that is being done?
    Mr. DESJARDINS. Yes, I believe so. The States that are doing it, I think most of those States do it as an additional reimbursement to the contractor. So, we pay the law enforcement agencies to provide that service and we are reimbursed for that cost by the DOT. That way it gets the Federal participation in the expense.
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    I think one of the suggestions that came out of the summit was that those kind of things probably should be 100 percent Federally funded rather than depending on the States to raise their matching portion.
    Mr. HORN. Are there any other suggestions?
    Mr. YERMACK. I think what we have heard this afternoon is a range of solutions that really all fall under the rubric of ''pay attention.'' Nobody leaves home with the intention of causing an accident. They get into an accident because they or somebody else is not paying attention.
    I really see that all of the issues that we are talking about are really to provide a higher level of attentiveness on the part of the driver and those at the work site themselves. I think in that regard technology is a very important place to play in providing the information to the driver about what is going on.
    In fact, I discussed today some of the technologies that are in use today. We are really looking just around the corner at in-vehicle signage, the ability to provide the message directly to the driver in the car that there is a condition ahead that they should pay attention to.
    I think that is really what we are talking about; getting the information to the driver that there is something that you need to be aware of and you need to be aware of it now.
    Mr. HORN. Well, that is a good suggestion.
    Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
    Mr. WIGHT. It would seem that 80 percent of the accidents or fatalities occur not on the workers' side but on the public's side. About 90 percent of the accidents that we are talking about are caused by the public. So, clearly if you start questioning where your investment should be, the highest return on your investment is attacking the issue from that direction.
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    I think it has been stated more than once today, whether it is by contractors or by owners of by whomever, it is very clear that it is in the highest interests of the contractors and of the State DOTs and others to protect their workers. There are many cases out there where some contractors will not even bid some jobs because they don't think they will be paid fairly for the traffic protection devices and they don't want to expose their workers to that. So, I think clearly the best-invested money is to attack it on the side of how do we deal with the public and education and all of the issues that have been addressed today.
    Mr. HORN. Thank you.
    Mr. PETRI. Mr. Simmons.
    Mr. SIMMONS. Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
    Thank you, Mr. Desjardins for your nice comments about the State of Connecticut. I love it, too. Your company does great work there and we appreciate all you do. We especially appreciate your safety record in Connecticut, whether it is building the State Pier in New London or working on road projects. It is a very good safety record.
    On the issue of State police and whether they are full time duty or special duty, in my experience in Connecticut, they tend to be special duty, that is off duty. This is extra duty they can get and they get paid for it.
    But one of the problems you encounter with special duty officers is they are not as aggressively engaged as they might be on active duty. What I find is your speed trap State troopers are often much more active on the highway than your work zone troopers.
    So, some effort has to be made at the State level to train and incentivize these folks. Even if they are on a special duty status, they have to be actively engaged or somebody is going to get hurt.
    I think certifying through training is good. But again, this is a second item, which is more of a public safety item than a construction item. It is perhaps maybe a good idea that at some point we get some public safety people to testify on this issue.
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    But if you certify for work zone duty, that raises its status as far as the police are concerned. Finally, national awards, we have seen the hall of shame, if you will, by looking at the list of fatalities. Some States are very high. If you adjust for per capita, maybe their ranking changes.
    I notice that the State of Rhode Island is not on the list at all, which leads me to believe they had no fatalities in 1999. Is there some award for those States that have no fatalities coming from the industry or from the National Highway Administration folks? It might be a good incentive or awards to those States that reduce their fatalities through discrete activities. That also might be a good recommendation.
    Does anyone have any thoughts on any of that?
    Mr. DESJARDINS. I might address your comment about the training of law enforcement folks. In New Jersey, it came out in our summit that the State of New Jersey has specifically trained officers for work zones. That is all they do. I mean they focus on that. That is what they do.
    I agree, that is much more effective than what you called extra duty officers, people who put in a full day and then do this after a full day's work. So, I would support that kind of an effort as well.
    Mr. EDGINTON. There is also something else to think about when looking at the New Jersey model. That is their dedicated law enforcement personnel are not just dedicated to traffic safety. These are also officers who are trained in work place safety. So, not only are they monitoring the safety of the motoring public, they actually have the ability to monitor the safety of the job itself and they work closely with their State's occupational safety and health programs.
    So, in that setting they really get two bangs for the buck. It is not just the traffic control, but it is worker protection as well.
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    Mr. STERNDAHL. Just to add really from the contractor perspective some of the frustrations that we encounter and the need for important training for the enforcement officers also, a rather famous interchange in southern California is the 514. It has fallen twice in two earthquakes. My company was involved in a complete restriping of that interchange. We begged CalTrans for Highway Patrol assistance. It was refused. We were told that the funding wasn't available.
    So, after we had the Highway Patrol out there in force along with ambulances, fire trucks, three nights in a row, I again pleaded to CalTrans. I said, you know, they are coming out here anyway with fire trucks and ambulances. These are the people who are supposed to be enforcing the highway. It seems to me that there must be some mechanism in place that would allow you to address this situation.
    The only mechanism that was left for me was to hire them myself, which I did so that we would not end up having any additional injuries or deaths on that piece of road.
    Mr. SIMMONS. I thank the panel for their testimony. It has been very interesting.
    I thank the Chairman for holding the hearing. Thank you.
    Mr. PETRI. Thank you.
    Are there any questions, Ms. Capito? Mr. Borski?
    Mr. BORSKI. Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
    I, too, want to thank our panelists. It is clear that everyone here is working on the same direction. I have a great fear that the problem is getting a little worse. My fear is because of the increased amount of money and the increased construction that is going on out there. I am really fearful about what statistics might be for 2001.
    I do believe we have heard a lot of really good testimony today. I am really encouraged by it. I know that the Chairman is very concerned about this, too. Hopefully, we can take the best of these suggestions and get something done.
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    It seems clear to me that the demand for improving our highways and yet keeping mobility and reducing congestion puts a lot of pressure on you all who are trying to do this.
    What part does safety play in this and does it get short shrift, if you will, if the demand is to keep that traffic moving while you are right next to it, you are trying to fix it. How does that work?
    Is that a problem, Mr. Wight?
    Mr. WIGHT. It is clearly a problem. I think there was an earlier speaker who commented that we typically as a DOT or as an organization look for a low-cost solution. We don't properly assess the value of a life and all of those other economic issues that are out there.
    I think we will find ourselves over time starting to evaluate projects in a different way. I was fortunate enough about two weeks ago to have spent two weeks on a scanning tour in Europe. It was an FHWA-AASHTO scanning tour. Contract administration was the subject of the trip.
    It is interesting to note that in Europe virtually every selection has a quality-based part to it. It is not merely a low-bid system. In an awful lot of those evaluations the issue of safety is one of the true measuring sticks that is employed as they make the decision as to who should move forward.
    The question was asked earlier today, ''Could you do it?'' Really, it could not be done all that easily by our laws in the States today. It is not which contractor does a better job.
    But I do believe that the day will come when we will start to have to build into our evaluation system issues like that because, hey, that is what it is all about. It doesn't do us any good to have these great roads out there and then to hear that the State of California won't pay for a State Trooper is kind of ludicrous when you think about it. Somebody has their priorities a little bit mixed up in that assessment.
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    We need to start to look at what are the next ways to make these evaluations.
    Mr. EDGINTON. As many other speakers have said and come up with numerous solutions to these problems, I don't think that it is lack of answers or ideas that is the problem. I think it is lack of will to want to do it.
    One of the ironies that has really struck my organization, for example, is we represent highway maintenance workers for the State of California. If you look at the protections that the State of California offers their own workforce when they are doing highway maintenance work, they have standardized procedures, processes, equipment requirements.
    They have no similar requirements for contractors that bid the highway construction work. One has to ask one's self why is that. We know it can be done safer. They demonstrated that it could be done safer. Our contractors are trying to do the right thing but they are caught in this competitive pressure of how much money do you want to spend.
    No one wants to lose a life or have a worker hurt. That is why we were suggesting previously that you need to perhaps consider safety on the job as a separate item from the construction process itself.
    Mr. BORSKI. Mr. Desjardins, let me get to you second because I want to ask first of all I want to commend you for your work in your highway work zone safety and I wanted to ask you to try and comment on that number six suggestion again that Mr. Carlson talked about. I don't think he was too enthused about it.
    Mr. DESJARDINS. Sure. It is an effort to what we call ''level the playing field'' and not make contractors feel who get the work that they can save money by not putting up concrete barriers, for example, or not having law enforcement agencies come in.
    That is why I was suggesting particularly those kind of items paid for outside of the competitive bid process. You know, safety in itself, as we found in our company, is not an expense. We suffered another fatality back in 1986. A worker just unhooked his safety line momentarily and in the moment he was unhooked he lost his balance and fell to his death in the river.
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    After that accident, we said, we have to raise the level of awareness about safety in our company. So, we made safety number one. It is the first thing we talk about at every management meeting. It is talked about every day on all of our projects.
    So we raised the level of awareness of safety. We made it number one. Since 1987 and prior to that time we were spending $6 million a year in Workers Comp costs. Up to last year, what we have seen is that our Workers Comp costs were reduced by one-half. They went from $6 million a year to $3 million a year.
    At the same time, our volume doubled. So, in fact, our Workers Comp costs were reduced to one-fourth of what they were originally. So, that is why we say safety is not an expense. But here in this situation, I don't think it is the actions of the contractor nearly as much in the work zone.
    It is the actions of the traveling public that causes those accidents.
    I might comment on the safety statistics of a contractor. Some States are beginning to use those in their pre-qualification process, much like many public owners have done. They have set minimum standards on your experience modifier, recorded lost time rate, and if you don't meet that criteria, you don't get that opportunity to bid. Some States are beginning to look at that. We have no problem with that at all.
    Mr. BORSKI. Mr. Chairman, I see my time has expired. But I just wanted to ask Mr. Yermack to reassure me that this dialing of 511 is going to be safe out there. I have this horrid feeling that this cell phone situation is getting much worse than we realize.
    Mr. YERMACK. Well, there are currently about 300 traveler in transit information numbers around the country. The intention is to convert seven and ten-digit numbers to three-digit numbers.
    You said yourself you had a hearing recently on driver distraction. I think that we are concerned equally about that as well as other distractions in the car. We suggest that people do not make that phone call while they are driving with a hand-held phone.
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    Mr. PETRI. Thank you.
    Business on the Floor has cooperated with today's hearing. We have a vote but we still have plenty of time to get over there. Last week we had a hearing that was disrupted several times rather badly by a long series of votes. I am happy that that has worked out today.
    I just want to spend a minute to commend you, Mr. Wight, and your organization for setting up the Worker Memorial Scholarship Fund for the children of killed or severely disabled construction workers.
    Can you explain where the money comes from or how that program works?
    Mr. WIGHT. Yes, that program was started by two former Chairman, the Lanford Brothers out of Virginia. They committed an initial $100,000 between them and it went into our foundation. Since then we have gotten other contributions from some of the unions and other groups have contributed to see that pot grow a little bit.
    In the first year we gave out two scholarships. I believe we have out eight this year. Even some of the States are supporting it by them giving money so they then can in turn have scholarships come back to them. It is growing in its importance and recognition. In fact, I think in the testimony that went on file there is even a letter from Pennsylvania that speaks to the issue.
    Mr. PETRI. I wonder if there would be any incentive or increase of enforcement of work zone safety if some or a percentage of the fines went to this. That may increase people's awareness. Maybe that is not a good idea, I don't know.
    We need something, not a gimmick, but something that will, as we keep saying throughout this hearing, put a face on it.
    Mr. WIGHT. That is what these are for, in support of the work zone safety. That is one of the ways we raise money for it, through various contractors and others selling those to their people.
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    It is just to raise awareness. I think that is the issue. You know, in many ways one might say it is preaching to the choir because it is talking to the contractors and others that really are concerned with it. But we really do have to get it back to the public in some way.
    Mr. PETRI. One other thing, I really want to commend you, Mr. Desjardins and your organization for organizing the recently concluded summit. We are eager to continue working with you and representatives of employees, labor unions, locals, federal government agencies and so on involved with all of this.
    There is one of the suggestions that I wonder if any of you could comment on. Everybody has talked about maybe separating out in the bidding process the safety from the construction work. Practically speaking, I mean, they are different estimates of what the costs would be. Some are as high as 40 percent of the cost of a project is related to the safety side of it. How practical would that really be?
    Is this something that maybe we can do something about to allow people to consider it in letting bids but not mandate it? I am a little nervous about these set-asides with contracts, too. We know how that can manipulate the bidding process or at least there are allegations that various set asides that we have had have not necessarily achieved their intended purpose but instead have led to making it a little easier to fix bids or direct contracts and things of that sort.
    Mr. DESJARDINS. Obviously, you can't do it for everything. I mean I wouldn't recommend doing it for hard hats and safety vests and harnesses and those kinds of things. I think what we are suggesting and what came out in the summit are things I mentioned earlier like safety barriers, concrete barriers to protect the workers. Some States do that now. It is on a linear foot basis. It is a bid item now.
    You know, you could separate that out and have an allowance, if you will, bid price per foot or the cost of law enforcement agencies and so forth. Some States, for example, have bid items where they specify the rate for rental equipment that is used for additional work.
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    That takes it out of the competitive bid process. The contractor still gets reimbursed at the stipulated price. I know it comes out of the project funds, and so forth. We haven't gotten into the real nitty-gritty specifics of that. But I think the essence was to kind of level the playing field on those kinds of safety-related items.
    Mr. PETRI. We certainly don't in the people to have an incentive to short circuit safety in order to get bids. On the other hand, we want to promote integrity in the process because in the long run not only is it good business, but it is good in order to maintain public support and confidence and increase it in this whole process.
    We think what we are doing is very, very important. We want to increase that. We need a healthy, growing, well-maintained transportation system, quite obviously.
    So, we are eager to work with you and others in exploring that idea and all the others that you have all mentioned. We thank you very much for appearing here this afternoon.
    This hearing is concluded.
    [Whereupon, at 4:40 p.m. the subcommittee was adjourned.]