OPPD is taking advantage of a 2015 change in Nebraska law, with an eye towards safer conditions on the road for employees.
LB 181, signed into law last year, allows public utilities to use blue or amber flashing lights when doing construction, maintenance or infrastructure repairs near highways. Prior to the law change, the lights were primarily for emergency responders.
Mike Donahue, manager, Transportation & Construction Equipment, said OPPD is using blue LED lights on new trucks. He said crews working on roads are always at risk. Plus, being LED lights, they should last for the life of the trucks they are on and be easier on the battery.
Some OPPD trucks now have blue and amber LED lights and the initial response has been positive. By the end of June, more than 20 trucks should have the lights, Donahue said.
“The crews have noticed they are more visible,” Donahue said. “These lights are easier to see, they get your attention. One of the primary reasons law enforcement uses them is the visibility.”
Donahue said the lights are also available, on request, to other OPPD divisions who would also potentially be on busy roadways. Older trucks that are nearing the end of their life would be less likely to get the new lights.
With OPPD crews working in all kinds of weather conditions and at all hours, greater visibility means safer work conditions.
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