CASTLE ROCK, Colo. — Snow plow drivers’ job is to keep people safe by clearing the roads during a storm, but sometimes, bad decisions by other drivers compromises their safety.
“They’ll get in a rush and get right up behind us in our formation. And that distracts us because we’re worried about where they’re at, whether they’re going to get close to us and get hit,” said Marc Schulz with the Colorado Department of Transportation’s Castle Rock team.
During Wednesday’s blizzard, Schulz says his team had several close calls and even one crash the occurred when someone tried to pass a plow on the right.
“We were in formation plowing the road. We had a person spin out in front of us, which caused us to stop suddenly,” Schulz said. “Two middle vehicles were totaled. They were smashed like tin cans.”
Lawmakers are pushing a bill that would increase the penalty for passing plows in a staggered or an “echelon” formation. The bill is expected to pass, but it is still making its way to the House floor.
Schulz is skeptical, believing laws won’t change dangerous driving habits.
“If people would give us distance and give us room to work, things would get done a lot safer,” Schulz said. “Just like a seatbelt law, or just like a move-over law or a stay out of the left lane law, unless those things are enforced consistently, people aren’t going to pay attention to it.”