Caltrans Highway Workers’ Memorial Day Stresses Importance of Safety


BRAWLEY – The District 11 Caltrans yard held its Annual Highway Workers Memorial April 27 to commemorate the lives of fallen Caltrans workers. The memorial ceremony displayed an array of safety cones with the names of these fallen men who lost their lives working on the roads of California. The memorial ceremony was instituted in the Valley in 2011 when lead worker Jaime Obeso lost his life by an errant driver.

District 11 Director Laurie Berman speaks on behalf of Caltrans and the importance of highway safety.
District 11 Director Laurie Berman speaks on behalf of Caltrans and the importance of highway safety.

 The event began with a welcome speech by Everett Townsend, chief of maintenance, and was followed by a moment of silence directed by Sal Perez, District 11 maintenance area supervisor, to pay respects to the late workers.

The featured speaker was District 11 Director Laurie Berman, who spoke on behalf of Caltrans stating how important it is for the drivers on the highway to take caution when approaching work areas so they can return all the husbands and fathers to their families at night.

“All across the state, we hold highway workers memorial events to pay tribute to the workers who gave their lives, and it is really important that we pay tribute to them,” Berman said. “And it is also a good reminder for the driving public that one moment of inattention can have drastic consequences not only to them, but to others as well.”

            All over California, Caltrans acknowledges that their workers have dangerous jobs and must take precautions when they are out on the highway. When there is short term work being done on the highways, Caltrans hires California Highway Patrol units to stand by near the work area to look out for the workers and make sure that the highway drivers are obeying the laws of the road.

“To help protect our workers, we bring in CHP to patrol the work zones in order to enforce the speed limit in those areas and we have even lowered the speed limit on Interstate 8 where there are big construction projects taking place,” Berman said.

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