May 8, 2006
INCIDENT TYPE: Hostile Motorist
OF WORK ACTIVITY: Flagging Operation
INCIDENT: On May 8, 2006, two Caltrans Maintenance
employees had set up a road closure for routine road
maintenance and a drain cleaning operation. A motorist
approached the flagging station in the opposing lane
and demanded to be allowed through. A verbal confrontation
ensued and both the motorist and one of the Caltrans
employees made belligerent and discourteous comments.
The situation escalated to the point that the Caltrans
employee sustained minor injuries as the motorist entered
the work zone in defiance of the flagger's instructions.
This incident is an example of why established Caltrans
procedures must be followed. The way in which we conduct
business must be professional, courteous, and be done
in the SAFEST manner possible. We must establish and
maintain control of the situation at all times. Losing
sight of our purpose and responsibility benefits no
: All staff should be reminded of the following safety
Plan all work prior to leaving for the field and include
safety precautions in your plan.
Set up the flagging station per Chapter 8 (section
Be firm but courteous at all time.
Explain in a calm voice the reason and duration of
the wait. (Often, if the motorist knows the wait isn't
too long they might be more understanding).
Never allow a belligerent motorist to distract you
from your assigned duties.
Walk away from any driver who becomes belligerent.
Always be alert to the conditions around you.
Never turn your back or step into the traffic.
an escape route.
Warn fellow employees if a motorist fails to stop.
Record the vehicle description, license number and
description of the driver.
Report this information to your supervisor or the
CHP as soon as possible.
Never place yourself in a position of danger.
OFFICE OF HEALTH AND SAFETY SERVICES
individuals with disabilities, documents may be obtained
in alternative formats and other assistive services
are available. To obtain such services, please call
(916) 227-2640. TTY users may also call: 711 or 1-800-735-2929.