DOT workers warn about fast driving in icy conditions

Published: Feb. 22, 2021 at 12:31 PM EST
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PRESQUE ISLE, Maine (WAGM) - “Anytime it’s snowing we’re on the road.”

Josh Doughty is a Transportation Worker at Maine Department of Transportation, and says during a week with ice or heavy snow, he and his coworkers see anywhere from two to a dozen accidents on the road.

“Normally they’re already in the ditch by the time we go by, but you can usually tell people are going too fast.”

Doughty and other transportation workers spend hours clearing and salting roads in the winter, and can be the first to find you if your car runs off the road. Doughty says people are usually going too fast, and while he carries a first aid kit and extra clothes, most of the time when he finds an accident, all he can do is call for help.

“We’ll get out and stop on the side of the road check and see if they’re alright, but that’s the most we can do,” said Doughty. “I can’t pull somebody out of a ditch, give lifesaving CPR. I can try to help as best I can, but we’re not supposed to do anything except see if they’re all right and keep ploughing the road.”

Doughty asks that people slow down--if you’re comfortable going 55 you should probably be going 45, because the person who finds you might not have the ability to help. He says he hasn’t seen any fatal crashes, but transportation workers see these accidents multiple times each winter, and there’s nothing they can do

“To an extent, it is disappointing but you kind of get used to it,” said Doughty. “You drive by, and you’re like well I hope you’re all right. You get back in your truck and you’re like, man they were probably going too fast looking at the skid marks, and then you just keep going. You see stuff like that so much that its almost second nature.”

He says his one request is that you slow down. It can take a transportation truck and hour and half to circle back to where it began and clear the snow again, so even if you see transportation workers out on the road, drive carefully.

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