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'Cone Zone' safety blitz reminds drivers to slow down around construction sites

Work Zone Safety Alliance's annual Cone Zone Campaign is reminding drivers to respect construction zones or face fines. (CityNews)
Summary

The Work Zone Safety Alliance's annual Cone Zone Campaign is in full swing

Campaign aims to remind drivers to respect construction zones or face fines

Last year. at least 23 road construction workers were hurt by drivers passing by

RICHMOND (NEWS 1130) – With B.C. well into construction season, the Work Zone Safety Alliance is reminding drivers to respect cone zones, or face heavy fines.

The alliance has partnered with the RCMP Fraser Coast District Integrated Road Safety Unit for the 11th annual Cone Zone Campaign.

Last year alone, at least 23 road construction workers were hurt by drivers passing through work zones around the province, according to Road Safety at Work spokesperson Louise Yako. Over the past decade, 207 workers were injured and 12 were killed.

“This is an ongoing educational effort. It’s not any different from reminding people not to drink and drive, reminding people to wear their seatbelts,” Yako said. “We just want people to remember that as they’re approaching an area where it’s clear that roadside workers are working, they should be slowing down, being extra vigilant when they are looking around, and making sure that they’re following all of the advice and the direction that a flag person might be giving them.”

The campaign began back in May and will run until Aug. 31 to coincide with the busiest construction season. It included a traffic enforcement blitz at a Richmond worksite on Tuesday, where RCMP ticketed drivers for unsafe behaviour. Fines range from $196 for disobeying a flag person to $368 for using an electronic device while driving, and $483 for speeding.

However, Yako is reminding drivers road construction can run year-round.

“So it doesn’t mean you shouldn’t pay attention outside of those months,” she said, adding pandemic lockdowns may have impacted driving skills. “Maybe people have not had as much practice driving, or have had recent experience driving in more congested conditions. So we’re asking people to be, you know, extra careful this year.”