ARRA funds new construction for increased traffic safety
Wilson Hall's new stocks will promote traffic safety.
Funds for infrastructure improvement from American Recovery and Reinvestment Act will help support enhanced traffic safety at Fermilab—and put local contractors to work at the same time.
Fermilab officials announced that they have awarded the contract for construction of a set of stocks to be built outside Wilson Hall’s front entrance. Employees or users who receive three citations for traffic safety violations within a six-month period, or three parking violation notices in three months, will spend up to several hours in the stocks. The use of cell phones, including hands-free devices, while driving will also result in time in the new device, explained ES&H Head Nancy Grossman.
“Traffic accidents are the number one safety hazard at Fermilab,” Grossman said. “We want people to be safe at the laboratory, and we feel that the stocks will act as a major deterrent to traffic scofflaws. Studies have shown that the use of cell phones while driving is a leading cause of vehicle accidents.”
Laboratory officials considered various alternatives before settling on the stocks option. They rejected an initial proposal to use boiling oil amid concerns about U.S. dependence on foreign oil and increasing awareness of the effect of carbon emissions on climate change.
“In the end, even though it cost slightly more, we went with an environmentally friendly solution,” said Chief Operating Officer Bruce Chrisman.
The stocks construction project, awarded to Ethelred and Sons, a local company specializing in stocks, thumbscrews and gallows work, is estimated to take about six weeks and create 4.7 new jobs. The stocks will hold up to four offenders at one time, with the possibility for a future upgrade to five.
ES&H Head Grossman said she fully expects that employees will follow the new traffic safety edicts and hopes the laboratory will never have to use the stocks.
“But it’s really not my call. I don’t make the rules,” Grossman said as she stood surveying Road D with a pair of binoculars. “But if we do have to put anyone in there, I have to admit it will be hilarious. I mean seriously funny. Not that I want to do it. Because I don’t.”