Stay Out of the Cone Zone

The Cone ZoneWe are very fortunate here in British Columbia when it comes to workplace safety. In general, if our workplace is not safe, we feel entitled to apply pressure to our employers to make it so. If another person's workplace is not safe we wonder why someone is not doing something about it.

Occupational health and safety programs are the norm rather than the exception. If you ever have the chance to talk to a school crossing guard, flag person, highway maintenance worker or anyone else whose job requires them to work on our highways, ask them how safe they feel when they are on the job. If they don't have a story of their own about negative or dangerous driving behaviour they have definitely watched someone else at their work site bear the brunt of a poor driving decision.

A quick scan of ICBC collision numbers indicate that about 30 people are injured and one person is killed while working on our highways each year. One has to ask why this is so when every effort is made to post signs, erect cones and barricades, employ flag persons, use pilot vehicles, double the fines in construction zones and create advertising campaigns like Stay Out of the Cone Zone and Slow Down, My Mother Works Here.

I once calculated that it cost me 74 seconds to slow from 80 km/h to 50 km/h for the duration of one of the longer construction zones in my patrol area. Surely we can afford to grant this much consideration to our road workers even if we do feel that we don't have time for anyone but ourselves in our busy lives. These people have to go home to their families at the end of their shifts as well. Please help to make sure that they can do it.

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