Construction Zone Signs

Construction Ahead SignI was driving home after shift last week listening to the radio and enjoying the sunshine. The traffic report came on and in it was a cell phone call from a woman who had been stopped in the lineup for the highway construction on Highway 4 between Port Alberni and Parksville. She wondered if anyone knew what was going on.

The Motor Vehicle Act requires that when work is being carried out on a highway signs be posted indicating that this is happening. In addition to that, signs must also be posted showing a construction speed limit or restricting the manner in which vehicles are to proceed through the area. These signs must then be removed as soon as the reason for them no longer exists.

If there is a flag person in the construction zone, a driver must drive in the manner directed by the flagger.

The Schedules to Division 23 of the Motor Vehicle Act Regulations show examples of the signs that must be used in this situation, both at the roadside and by the flagger.

This call to the traffic report surprised me. This woman had passed a flashing message board and a number of signs advising her what was happening before she ever arrived at the lineup. How could she have missed seeing these signs?

On the other side of the coin, I stopped to work in the middle of a survey zone where the road was narrow and winding without adequate shoulders. The surveyors had to stand on the travelled portion of the highway to work and were very happy to have me slow traffic that ignored their signs. Their spokesman told me that he wished he could put up speed limit signs. He was quite surprised to find out that he had the authority to put up a speed sign.

For safety's sake, please slow down in construction zones. The cost to you is only a few seconds, and unless you are an emergency vehicle responding to a crisis, losing those few seconds to caution is well worthwhile.

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