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Cone Zone campaign asks local drivers to slow down, keep roadside workers safe

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With increased traffic on Highways 97 and 16 this summer, roadside workers in Prince George face a greater risk of getting injured on the job.

The 12th annual Cone Zone campaign kicks off today (Monday) asking drivers, employers, and workers to prevent roadside injuries and deaths.

Road Safety at Work Director, Trace Acres spoke with MyPGNow.com

“Working at a roadside is a hazardous environment there is no question about that. So, a number of precautions are taken to protect workers as much as possible – unfortunately, there are going to be people who are not going to be paying attention.”

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“At this time of the year in particular when we are getting into better weather, we are seeing a lot of construction activity so it’s very important in those situations to obey traffic safety personnel, watch for signs indicating speed and pay attention – don’t use your cellphone.”

According to WorkSafe BC, two roadside workers were killed in the province and 31 were injured and had to miss time after being hit by a vehicle.

Over the last decade, 12 roadside workers lost their lives, and 221 missed time from work due to injury.

“That’s 233 people — mothers, fathers, friends, work colleagues, and neighbours,” said Acres.

“Every roadside worker in the Fraser-Fort George region deserves to make it home to their family at the end of their shift without injury.”

If there is no speed limit posted in a roadside work zone, observe the regularly posted speed limit on the roadway. If there are vehicles with red, blue, or amber flashing lights stopped at the roadside, the province’s “Slow Down, Move Over” law applies.

It requires drivers to slow to 70 km/h if the posted speed limit is greater than 80 km/h. If the posted speed is less than 80 km/h, drivers need to slow to 40 km/h.

When travelling on a multilane road, the law states that drivers should always be prepared to move over to the left lane and increase the space between their vehicle and the work zone, if it’s safe to do so.

Tickets for driving infractions in Cone Zones can be costly:

·         Using an electronic device while driving ($368)

·         Speeding ($196 and up)

·         Disobeying a flag person ($196)

·         Disobeying a traffic control device ($121)

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