MoDOT’s Barrel Bob is one busy spokesbarrel. He can be seen across the state in work zones to help bring awareness for safety and remind drivers to slow down and move over in work zones. Not only is he out there smiling at people as they pass by on Missouri roads, he’s on Facebook and on the radio! Barrel Bob has a pretty hectic schedule this week helping the MoDOT districts promote Work Zone Awareness Week. One minute he is in Central District and the next he is in Kansas City. It is almost like there is more than one of him!
I had the opportunity to briefly sit down with Bob after his appearance at Central Office and Central District’s Work Zone Awareness press event and ask him a few questions.
You are everywhere right now. You’re out there on Missouri roads, you are at the district work zone events, you can be heard on the radio talking about work zone safety and you are on Facebook.
I know. I am pretty much a barrel version of Ryan Seacrest!
|Work Zone icon Barrel Bob posed for a picture near a truck mounted attenuator during Work Zone Awareness Week's kickoff event in Jefferson City (photo by Cathy Morrison).
How important is it to you to make sure people understand the importance of work zone safety?
Are you being serious right now? That is like asking Batman how important is it to stop crime in Gotham, or Brian Williams how important it is to remember things correctly. It is VERY important. It is the top priority of MoDOT to ensure that employees and motorists are both safe in work zones so everyone can go home safe. It is important to me, and all my pals at MoDOT, that my highway heroes have a safe work environment. Not all work zones are the same and I am happy that is something we are trying to make the public aware of. Some work zones are slow moving operations such as striping, patching or mowing. They can also be short term temporary lane closures. No matter what kind of work zone it is motorists need to slow down and change lanes, it’s the law.
What did you think of the message that Senior Maintenance Worker Scott Campbell gave today about his experience in a work zone crash involving a truck mounted attenuator?
I thought Scott did an amazing job talking about the importance of paying attention in work zones. Crashes just like the one Scott was in are completely avoidable if everyone is on their A-game while driving.
You’ve been hit yourself a few times if what I’ve read is true.
I’ve been knocked on my barrels a few times! I would tell you about them all but we don’t have that kind of time and I am saving those for my autobiography “Tall, Orange and Handsome.” I’m still working on the title but it will definitely have an orange cover.
This year’s Work Zone Awareness Week slogan is “pay attention or pay the price.” Do you feel like people are paying less attention these days while driving?
I constantly see people zooming by while on their cell phones. Just because it only takes a couple of seconds to read makes it seem ok, but it’s not. The average text takes five seconds to read. If you are going 55 mph, it’s like traveling the length of a football field blindfolded! There is a good chance you won’t see my highway heroes out doing their jobs before you run into that work zone. So put the phone down, pay attention and stop driving like you are the star of one if those scary movies!
What scary movies?
Those Fast and Furious movies! If Vin Diesel drives in one of my work zones he better be going the posted speed limit with a positive attitude!
You have said multiple times on your Facebook page that Work Zone Awareness Week is your favorite week of the year, but you also get pretty excited about State Fair.
I love the State Fair too! It is another opportunity to help raise awareness for the importance of work zone safety! And there are corn dogs….mmmmm corndogs. Hope to see all your readers there August 13-23 in the Highway Gardens.
Thank you for taking a minute to speak with me today.
You bet! Don’t forget to follow me on Facebook! I’m off to snap a selfie with Baby Bob out at the Columbia Mall!
Wait a second! Isn’t Baby Bob you at a younger age? How can you both be in the same place at once?
It’s a classic time traveling story. Time traveling work zone spokesbarrel goes back in time to recruit himself in his prime to tell the future about work zone safety. It’s a pretty common thing.