A traffic cone memorial paid tribute to the Caltrans workers who lost their lives in the line of duty, as the agency honors the 2015 Highway Workers Memorial Day on Tuesday.
At the Caltrans district office, organizers displayed 183 cones, one for each worker killed in California since 1921. Out of those 183 cones, 18 represented workers who died while working on a roadside.
An additional plaque commemorates the 18 people who died in District 11, which covers San Diego and Imperial counties.
Multiple members and officials of Caltrans attended the ceremony, including Caltrans District 11 Director Laurie Berman and California Highway Patrol Chief Jim Abele.
“We will remember them as being more than names on a symbolic orange cone,” said Berman. “We will remember them as co-workers, friends, husbands, wives, grandparents, sons, daughters, uncles and aunts. Their impacts as human beings cannot be measured.”
A banner revealed at the ceremony showed children asking drivers to “Be Work Zone Alert” to prevent roadside worker fatalities.
Berman said moving forward, workers need to be vigilant and aware of their surroundings as drivers become more and more distracted on freeways.