Monday, April 9, 2018

Too many close calls to even remember

KDOT employee Brian Link and his family.
        My name is Brian Link. I have worked for KDOT for 17 years and am currently the Area Supervisor for Johnson County. During my time I have seen numerous crashes in and out of work zones. I personally have been struck two times on separate occasions while providing traffic control for maintenance operations.
        The first time occurred while I was sitting on the shoulder in a dump truck with an arrow board. I was struck from behind by a car that was involved in a crash with another vehicle. My truck and I just happened to be in the wrong place at the wrong time.
        My second crash happened while we were patching potholes with a mobile lane closure. I was in the attenuator truck following the patch crew. The car that hit me had passed two other KDOT trucks on the shoulders stationed behind me to give advanced warning of the patching operations.
        I was fortunate not to sustain any injuries from these crashes: although the people who hit me did suffer minor ones. These are just two examples of my personal experiences, but I have had too many close calls to even remember them all.  I try not to tell my wife about them all, as I do not want to worry her more about the danger that we face every day at work.
        I think the biggest concern for me is even with all our lights, traffic control and advanced warning; our safety is in the hands of the citizens that travel the road every day. We rely on them to drive undistracted, not under the influence of drugs or alcohol, alert and to have their brain engaged and focused on the task of driving.
        I sometimes feel the citizens driving do not see us as people with a family. A family we love and want to go home to. Furthermore, we are objects in their way obstructing their busy schedule, a nuisance that causes them to be delayed.
        I want people to know that we are there providing a service to maintain the safety of the roadway. We have a job to do serving the citizens of Kansas and visitors to our great state. Give us a brake…pay attention, slow down and give us a lane.



  1. Thank you for your service and for bringing work zone safety to the attention of the public. You’ve given us a lot to think about.

  2. Well said Brian. Thank you for taking the time to call attention to the dangerous situation our highway workers are in every day. You have beautiful family and we want you home with them every night. Thank you for your service.

  3. This year’s National Work Zone Awareness Week theme is very appropriate, WORK ZONE SAFETY: EVERYBODY’S RESPONSIBILITY. Everyone on the roadway has a role in maintaining safety. However, many driving through work zones are just living up to their responsibility. We all can all do better! Thanks Brian for your perspective.

  4. Brian, Thank you so much for all that you do. You are absolutely right, All KDOT workers want to return home to their loved ones and they work hard to keep Kansas moving. Work zone safety is so important. Thanks for your story!

  5. Thanks, Brian, for all you do to maintain the roadways which we all love in Kansas. I cannot imagine being that close to vehicles whose drivers, as you said, see you only as "objects in their way" instead of as people with families who want to see them at the end of the day. I'm glad you haven't been injured in any of the incidents you've experienced.

    If people would follow your advice to "drive undistracted, not under the influence of drugs or alcohol, alert and to have their brain engaged and focused on the task of driving," my job in KDOT's Traffic Safety Section would be eliminated...and I would be okay with that!

  6. Well said Brian. BE safe out there