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DATE: February 28, 1996

INCIDENT TYPE: Vehicle Accident

LOCATION: District 11


THE ACCIDENT: On Wednesday, February 21, 1996, a sign crew stopped at SR 163 and Clairemont Mesa Blvd. to replace a R63/W11 (Pavement Width/Do Not Pass) sign. The sign was located in the gore formed by the connector ramp and the northbound entrance ramp from Clairemont Mesa Blvd. They positioned their work vehicle on the shoulder of the connector adjacent to the sign. Their barrier vehicle was also parked on the shoulder of the connector and was set up approximately 50 feet behind their work vehicle. The crew positioned this barrier vehicle to protect them from the connector traffic. A short time later, their supervisor arrived at the site and he placed his vehicle in a position to protect the workers from the entrance ramp traffic. At approximately 2:05 PM, a private vehicle skidded on the entrance ramp and struck the supervisor's vehicle (see Diagram 1 on the back of this alert).

CONCLUSIONS: The crew believes that if the private vehicle had not struck the supervisor's vehicle, it definitely would have struck them. The consequences of that would have been very serious.

The barrier vehicle was placed to protect the crew from connector traffic. The crew considered that traffic the primary hazard. The traffic from the ramp generally is slower and presented less of a hazard.

RECOMMENDATIONS: Protect yourself from all traffic. Vehicles on entrance and exit ramps pose as serious a threat as traffic on the mainline. If the supervisor's vehicle was not available, the work vehicle could have been used as a barrier (see Diagram 2 on the back of this alert). If the work vehicle is used as a barrier, the crew should be instructed to work from the front of the vehicle and avoid working from the traffic side or near the rear of the vehicle. As always, face traffic and be alert for escape routes. Protect yourself by using your eyes and ears to listen and watch for errant vehicles.


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