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Workers, law enforcement react to Lyndon’s Law

Thursday, Jul. 11th 2019

By: Frank Healy, WGEM

Missouri Governor Mike Parson signed a new law that MoDOT officials said will make construction zones safer.

It’s called Lyndon’s Law, named after Lyndon Ebker, a MoDOT worker killed while in a work zone.

It gives the state the power to take away drivers licenses from anyone who hits a worker or first responder in a work zone, but some are saying the law shouldn’t stop there.

“As a worker here, and we’ve got 300 employees here in Missouri in the northeast district alone, you know out there doing similar tasks to what [Lyndon] was doing, so it’s better safety to all MoDOT employees,” said Steve Walker, Crew Leader for the MoDOT Striping Division in the Northeast District, said something needs to change.

13 MoDOT workers have been killed in work zones since 2000, and thousands have injured in work zones since 2014.

Walker said while this law will keep people who have hit someone off the road, prevention is still the most critical aspect to making sure no one gets hurt.

“You’ve got the move over law that you’re supposed to yield to emergency vehicles, we got the $10,000 fine if you hit a worker, so there’s other laws already in place, […] I mean I would love to see Missouri adapt the law of no phones at all, but that’s not up to me of course,” said Walker.

Local law enforcement officials said that’s a sentiment they agree with, their objective, preventing things like what happened to Lyndon from happening in the first place

“It should be a deterrent, but it may not be because this law is only applicable if someone is struck, and it’s actually too late at that point in time,” said Palmyra Police Chief Eddie Bogue talking about the new law.

Chief Bogue said they always try to provide extra enforcement when it comes to work zones, but he said prevention starts with the individual.

“I know you want to get to where you’re going as quick as possible, but just keep in mind that if it was your friend or family out there working, they try and stay safe,” said Chief Bogue.

“These people all have families, nobody out here doesn’t have a family to go home to even if it’s just a grand parent or a spouse, it’s important,” said Walker.

House Bill 499 was signed by Governor Parson Tuesday.

Lyndon Ebker was a 30-year employee of MoDOT, he was struck and killed by and inattentive motorist in 2016 in Franklin County, Missouri.

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