In Perspective: Reflectors, road help or hazard?

By Cynthia Bruno |

Published 03/14 2014 09:54AM

Updated 03/14 2014 09:59AM

CENTRAL ILLINOIS -- One woman wants to bring attention to a problem she'd never heard of until it nearly caused her to crash. WCIA-3's Cynthia Bruno puts this road danger In Perspective.

Usually, driving to work is just part of your morning routine, but around this time last year, Laura Enger's was interrupted by this.

"I was driving down Interstate 74, like any normal day, and all of a sudden, glass comes in on me. So, I pulled over and tried to figure out what happened."

She found a metal reflector in her back seat.

"It's really just this hunk of metal. I actually weighed it and it's seven and a half pounds that came hurling at my windshield."

After looking at the marks it left on her car, she realized she was lucky it took the path it did.

"It went inches away from my face. I mean, had I been leaned over changing the radio or something, it probably would have hit me in the face."

Replacing these isn't cheap. IDOT says replacing the whole thing costs about $46, but, if it's just the reflector they have to replace, it's just about $6. Last year, in District 5, which includes seven Central Illinois counties, IDOT spent more than $600,000 on this issue. But, Enger is concerned the problem isn't getting fixed fast enough.

"A coworker of mine, last week said that he found a random reflector out in the middle of the road, just waiting for someone to run it over, on 150, here in Mahomet."

She's afraid if the reflectors don't get replaced soon, others will go through what she did.

"It makes me really worried, um, especially with all the potholes out there. People need to be careful what they're driving over. I mean, it can hurt your car obviously, but it can also hurt somebody else."

IDOT contracts out the work of replacing the reflectors. Last year that work was done from April through December. IDOT staff usually focus on changing out the oldest reflectors first, but they haven't decided the locations for this year yet.

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