Cone Zone season is upon us. Hundreds of roadside work zones will be set up across the province this summer. Thousands of drivers will travel through these “Cone Zones” placing roadside workers at greater risk of being injured or killed by a motor vehicle.
Roadside work is dangerous. Between 2008 and 2017, 12 roadside workers were killed and 218 were injured and missed time from work as a result of being hit by a motor vehicle.
Safe driving behaviour ensures that workers – such as first responders, road builders, landscapers, flag people, tow truck operators, telecommunications and utility workers, and municipal workers are protected.
Each of us – employers, workers and drivers – have a responsibility to take action to make sure these workers return home safe to their families.
Actions you can take to save lives
Here’s what you can do to keep these roadside workers safe:
- Pay attention to temporary road signs, traffic cones and directions given by a traffic control person. Listen to traffic reports and adjust your route to avoid work zones.
- Leave your phone alone.
- Safely slow down before reaching a Cone Zone and obey the posted speed limit.
- Respect the roadside as a workplace. Driving unsafely in a Cone Zone puts roadside workers at risk. Orange cones are often the only things separating them from your vehicle.
- Always reduce your speed when driving near work vehicles with flashing amber, red and blue lights. If the posted speed limit is greater than 80 km/h, slow to 70km/h. If the posted speed is less than 80 km/h, slow to 40 km/h. In both situations, move over if it’s safe to do so. Drivers failing to adjust their speed — or failing to move over — may receive a $173 violation ticket and three penalty points.
Know and follow BC’s Slow Down, Move Over Law
Drivers are required to Slow Down and Move Over when approaching vehicles with flashing amber, red or blue lights such as landscapers, utility workers, garbage collectors, tow trucks and police, fire or ambulances.
Drivers must slow their speed to 70km/h when in an 80km/h or over zone, and 40km/h when in an under 80km/h zone. In both cases, drivers should be prepared move over and increase the space between their vehicle and the work zone, if it’s safe to do so. Failing to follow these rules can result in a $173 ticket and three penalty points.
For more information, visit ConeZoneBC.com.