In an effort to educate roadway workers about the rules and regulations of the Texas Manual on Uniform Traffic Control Devices, TEEX’s Engineering, Utilities and Public Works Training Institute (EUPWTI) has created a new tort liability video, which demonstrates the importance of following state regulations regarding traffic flow and work zones.
“The idea for the video was to explain the legal concepts involved and show the importance of doing things by the book,” said Howard McCann professional engineer and program coordinator in the transportation training program, a part of EUPWTI.
The video begins with a chilling scene. A mother and her two children are traveling along a rural Texas highway. She is dealing with the normal trials of motherhood, a fussing child in the back seat and an annoyed and unhelpful teenager in the passenger’s seat.
Distracted by the children, she does not see the worn orange sign that indicates road work ahead. A roadway worker who has been flagging at the construction site leaves his post to answer a radio call. By the time the mother sees the truck and construction ahead, it is too late to react.
What takes place next is a court scene in which an attorney questions the road worker who failed to do his job by the rules of the Texas Manual on Uniform Traffic Control Devices—rules he didn’t realize that he too must follow.
The video ends with a coffee shop discussion, and a “what if” scenario in which the same family is once again traveling down the road. This time, however, they encounter a proper traffic control setup and drive safely by the road work.
“This is a great example of how a video can augment classroom instruction,” said McCann. “We show the video immediately after we discuss tort liability and negligence, and we follow it up with a training module on controlling traffic with flaggers. The video visually demonstrates legal concepts and helps to promote understanding.”
The 12-minute video was produced by Kathy Fraser and Steve Presnal of Media Production Services. It will be shown in EUPWTI’s 16-hour Work Zone Traffic Control classes and Local Technical Assistance Program classes.