Jackson County Roads and Parks department has recently seen an uptick in aggressive driving behavior towards roadway workers and flaggers. Two recent incidents have led to arrests and multiple criminal charges by the Jackson County Sheriff’s Office (JCSO).
On June 23rd a driver displayed aggressive behavior towards a flagger working on rebuilding East Vilas Road. The suspect drove their vehicle directly towards the flagger in a closed portion of the road. The flagger was forced to quickly move out of the way to avoid serious injury. Unfortunately, this was not the only aggressive driving incident with this driver in the area. The suspect was ultimately arrested and cited for reckless driving as well as disorderly conduct.
On July 7th while Table Rock Road was temporarily closed for law enforcement activity, a driver aggressively drove towards a flagger, striking the roadway worker who was helping direct traffic. This driver was arrested and cited for reckless endangerment of a flagger. The condition of the flagger was not released by authorities.
“Nobody is a fan of detours, closures, and other impacts from the summer road construction season, but drivers are encouraged to remain patient, and if they lose their patience we are here to protect our roadway workers,” says JCSO Sergeant John Richmond.
JCSO and Roads and Parks reminds drivers that roadway workers and flaggers are provided extra protection in Oregon State Statute, due to the inherent danger of their positions. A person can be charged with assault in the third degree for recklessly causing injury to a roadway worker, or flagger.
“This isn’t something we take lightly. Our crews are out all times of the day and night helping to keep our roads safe for travelers and we expect the public to keep them safe in exchange. Please help them stay safe while they work diligently to improve our transportation system so that they can go home each night to their families,” says Steve Lambert, Roads and Parks Director.
Courtesy of JCSO