Work zone and roadside safety awareness

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LINCOLN, Neb. -- Work zone crashes have risen by 75 percent since 2011, according to the Nebraska Safety Council.

This year, the Nebraska Safety Council is making sure you know the law. It's simple -- move over and slow down for stopped emergency vehicles or roadside crews.

Just six months ago, two construction workers in Lincoln were hit by cars in a three-day span. Now, survivors of these types of crashes are making sure you know the law.

Larry Miller, a tow truck operator, was hit by a pickup on I-80 less than four months ago. The pickup ran over his right leg while he was attaching the tractor trailer to his tow truck.

"I can't do anything now. It's been the 18th of December that I've been laid up," Miller said.

According to the Emergency Responder Safety Institute, one in 50 tow truck operators die on the job.

Colonel John A. Bolduc with the Nebraska State Patrol said, "Just last week, we had a Sarpy County deputy...his vehicle struck by a drunk driver...people aren't paying attention."

Miller also said, "Pay attention to people alongside the road."

Distractions like cell phones aren't helping either.

The state will be putting up signs this summer to remind drivers to put down phones -- especially in work zones.

The Nebraska Safety Council said move over or slow down if you see vehicles stopped on the side of the road -- vehicles like police, ambulances, tow trucks or construction.

"I'm in a bad situation that's all it is...changes my lifestyle...and I don't know how I'm going be able to go on with it...but I have to," Miller said.

Miller said he has been in therapy and will receive a prosthetic by the end of the week.