Maryland’s slogan, “Safer Driving. Safer Work Zones. For Everyone.” resonates deeply with our family following the tragic death of husband and father, Rick Moser, in Frederick County on June 26, 2007. Rick, a 21 year veteran SHA employee, was clearing debris along a highway ramp, a job meant to take 15 minutes. Orange message signs and SHA trucks with flashing lights were along the shoulder and the crew was dressed in lime green safety vests. These safety measures were not enough to protect Rick from the negligent driver that day. Rick was struck from behind and killed upon impact when the speeding driver veered across the shoulder line on the ramp. In that single moment, our family was changed forever.

While mobile work zones exist throughout the year, there will be more of them this spring and summer. Drivers need to stay alert for changing road conditions, shifting lanes, road drop offs. It’s also critical to expect the unexpected, such as stopped cars ahead, or workers and equipment. Vehicles truly do become deadly weapons when motorists drive recklessly, aggressively, or inattentively in work zones...A heart breaking reality our family continues to live with each and every day.

Recognizing that Rick’s death was entirely preventable, our family has committed to advocating for safer roads. It is imperative that drivers obey the posted speed limit and avoid distractions, including texting or talking on cell phones and to focus solely on safe driving when traveling through these work zones.

I commend Maryland State Highway Administration for implementing “GO ORANGE” to promote public awareness and support for work zone safety. As I reflect upon what this work zone safety initiative means to me personally, this timely campaign gives me hope. Hope that all Maryland drivers will hear the message that everyone… workers, drivers, and passengers…are at risk for death or injury in work zones. Hope that all drivers will accept their responsibility for the safety of others and focus on safe driving in work zones. And finally, hope that the desired outcome of zero deaths in work zones will be reached.

To honor Rick’s memory and bring purpose to his untimely death, our family placed an orange spotlight on his tombstone to allow his voice to be heard, his story to be told, and his unnecessary death to positively impact the lives of others. Please join us in “going orange” throughout April and encourage others to do so as well. Together we can save lives!


Grave of Rick Moser