NEWTON, Miss. (WTOK) - The Mississippi Department of Transportation had its District 5 ‘Roadeo’ competition Thursday. MDOT employees demonstrate their knowledge and skills with the equipment, and how to do their work safely.
“These events are catered to real life,” says District 5 engineer Brain Ratliff. “Situations on the roadway where we’re close to traffic, we’ve got heavy equipment, long trucks. It takes a lot of skill and a lot of focus to operate this equipment safely next to traffic.”
Having the ‘Roadeo’ as a friendly contest helps to build interest in employees honing their skills, and of course, earn some bragging rights.
“We use this as a tool to motivate our employees to try to increase their skills, which of course in turn makes it safer for everyone out there on the roadway,” Ratliff explains.
Participants told us that safety is their number one reason for participating.
“If I can learn how to do my job just a little bit safer, than I’ve done a positive days work,” says Matthew Thorne.
Employees can’t be fully safe on the job without help from the community. Brian Ratliff urges the public not to text and drive among other safety tips.
“We need you to obey the signs. Take a few extra few minutes to go through the work zone because you’re putting our workers’ lives in your hands and a distracted driver is one of the worst things we see on the road each day.”
Winners from each M-DOT district will go to the State ‘Roadeo’ in Natchez on June 6th.