Proposed legislation moving through the Missouri House and Senate could strengthen penalties for hitting a highway worker.
The Ebker Bill, named after Lyndon Ebker, a veteran MoDOT worker who was hit and killed on the job, says anyone who hits a highway worker or emergency responder would result in immediate revocation of their driver’s license.
Nicole Herbel, daughter of the late Lyndon Ebker says she hopes no one will have to go through what she and her family did almost three years ago.
“All I wanted to do was see him,“ Herbel said. “Going down to see somebody that, every time I’d seen him before, smiled and hugged you or waved and had something to say. Just going to a lifeless body…that was hard.“
She says one of the hardest parts of losing her father was having to explain it to her kids.
“My youngest daughter she was four and that was hard because she kept asking why grandpa wouldn’t get up and that is extremely hard to have to walk a child through that,“ she said.
MoDOT has made the Ebker Bill it’s top legislative priority during this session.
“This was the number one priority for us,“ MoDOT’s Southwest District Engineer Travis Koestner said. “To shore up this legislation because it was kind of disappointing to see we had had an incident not long after the previous law was passed but then no action was able to really be taken because of the language of the law.“
Herbel says what this bill means to her, is a way to make Missouri roads safer for everyone.
“It’s all about safety. Just keeping everyone safe so everyone can go home and not have to go through what my dad did.“
Right now, the law says if you hit a highway worker, you could be fined up to $10,000 and could lose your license for a year. If the bill passes, offenders would still be given an opportunity to prove their ability to drive.
Opposition to the bill says it revokes the right to due process. The bill is currently being reviewed by the Missouri House Rules and Administrative Oversight committee.