Comcast escapes penalties from Indianapolis officials for role in December pileup

Indianapolis city officials have decided to neither fine nor cite Comcast for its role in a series of pileups in early December that were captured on a rather damning viral video

The Indiana Department of Labor determined that Comcast met minimal requirements for temporary roadwork, laying out the necessary number of cones to warn drivers that its service trucks were blocking off a lane.

RELATED: Comcast not at fault in icy pileup, Indy police say

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The video shows a parked Comcast service vehicle blocking a lane, and cars and trucks emerging from a summit—many of them going too fast—unable to stop on the icy road as the Comcast truck and the blockage come into view. 

The videographer is seen pleading with the technicians to extend the cones around their truck to offer oncoming cars more warning of the blockage ahead. The workers appear indifferent, telling the videographer that their cones are laid out according to established guidelines. 

Speaking to FierceCable in December, an Indianapolis Police Department official said Comcast workers appear in the video to be obeying OSHA guidelines and drivers were simply going too fast.

Specifically, they Indy police noted one incident, in which a black pick-up truck rear-ended a sedan. 

“It appears that speed was a factor in the hit-and-run crash,” said the Indianapolis PD, in a statement. “The suspect truck was likely going too fast for the weather conditions."

Comcast workers, meanwhile, properly parked a work truck on the road as they addressed the repair of roadside box, the police added.

“Per our traffic unit, the number of cones and cone placement are an acceptable standard and best practices via OSHA guidelines,” the statement said. “From what has been seen in the video the drivers of the Comcast truck did not break any laws. It should be noted that the weather conditions here on yesterday were slick and hazardous, and that several other vehicles navigated that area without a problem (as seen in the video).”

Perhaps aware that appearances matter more than being right, Comcast released a contrite statement soon after the video emerged: “When I watched this video I was very concerned by what I saw,” said Ed Marchetti, senior VP of technical operations for Comcast Cable. “Our employees should always protect people and treat them with respect no matter what the situation. Safety matters most—especially in dangerous weather conditions like this."

“We are actively investigating what happened when our technicians were on site to restore services during an outage and we will reach out to those who were impacted by this incident," Marchetti added. “Within the next 24-48 hours, my team leaders will meet with our technicians across our company to use this as an example of how important it is to make everyone’s safety a priority in everything we do.”

Comcast reps didn’t immediately respond to FierceCable’s inquiry today as to the outcome of the internal Comcast investigation. 

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