REDDING, Calif. - Three Redding siblings are part of a new public awareness campaign to make the roadways safer for Caltrans workers.
Highway construction work is considered one of the most dangerous jobs in America. In fact, the risk of death for highway workers is seven times higher than any other industry. That's why Caltrans, the California Office of Traffic Safety and California Highway Patrol teamed up to launch the campaign "Be Work Zone Alert," reminding drivers to be alert while out on the roadways.
Nearly 60 billboards will be spread across California, featuring family members of Caltrans workers. Anthony Ortiz works for District 2, his three children were selected to appear on these new billboards lining the roads and highways.
"If you were to see these kids out on the highway you would slow down, so do the same thing for their parents," said Ortiz.
For his three children, Kennedy, Jaxyn and Raegan, their favorite part of the day is playing volleyball with their father. This campaign is aimed at the traveling public, reminding them that Caltrans workers have families and children at home, so they need to take extra care as they approach work areas.
"We want him to come home every night and do fun stuff life sports and stuff," said 11 year-old Jaxyn.
Like his children, Ortiz wants to stay safe while working on the roads so he can do what matters most. He feels the billboards send a powerful message because it hits close to home.
Even though the Ortiz kids aren't even old enough to drive, they've already picked up on some safe driving tips.
"Do not text and drive and do what you're supposed to do and respect the law," said Jaxyn.
"Be slow because if you're not you could run over one of the Caltrans guys," said 6-year-old Raegan.
"Don't drink and drive and if you are at the bar ask someone to pick you up," said 7-year-old Kennedy.
Their father couldn't be more proud. The family is excited to see the billboards go up in July. The Ortiz billboard will appear in the Northstate, Los Angeles and San Diego.