RCMP steps up traffic enforcement in support of roadside-worker safety

Over the last 10 years, 13 roadside workers died and 213 were injured


THE RCMP Lower Mainland District Integrated Road Safety Unit is partnering with the Work Zone Safety Alliance and WorkSafeBC to raise awareness about the risks workers face while working on or alongside the road.

In 2018, two roadside workers died as a result of being hit by a motor vehicle and another 29 were injured. Between 2009 and 2018, 13 roadside workers were killed and 213 were injured under similar circumstances.

The B.C. Cone Zone Campaign, now in its ninth year, sets out to remind employers, workers and drivers to obey the law when approaching a cone zone, to prevent deaths and injuries to roadside workers in B.C.

The campaign will include an enforcement blitz at worksites in the Lower Mainland for members of the driving public. Tickets to drivers can range from $196 for disobeying a flag person to $368 for using an electronic device while driving. The social and economic costs resulting from a loss of life or serious injury are much higher.

Cone zones are work areas set up by roadside workers to protect themselves and the driving public. Road-maintenance crews, tow truck operators, first responders, municipal workers and other roadside workers all depend on drivers to respect the cone zone to keep their workplaces safe.

The B.C. Cone Zone Campaign coincides with the increase in roadside work throughout the province in the spring and summer. As construction activity increases in the busy spring and summer construction months, drivers need to slow down when driving through a cone zone and pay attention to instructions from traffic control persons, temporary road signs and traffic control devices: Stay focused on the road and leave the phone alone. In addition, under the “Slow Down, Move Over” legislation, drivers should be prepared to reduce speed and move over to an open lane when driving near a vehicle with flashing amber, red or blue lights.

Employers have a legal responsibility to ensure the health and safety of their workers and contractors along B.C.’s roads and highways, including:

  • Ensuring their workers understand the hazards related to working at the roadside
  • Providing their workers with training, equipment and resources to help keep them safe

Roadside workers can work safely by:

  • Knowing how to identify hazards and assess risks
  • Following safe work procedures
  • Following set-up and take-down regulations
  • Wearing appropriate high-visibility clothing
  • Reporting unsafe work conditions to their supervisor

Major provincial projects scheduled and underway during the 2019 spring and summer include:

  • Highway 7: Widening in Mission
  • Highway 4: Kennedy Hill – Between Port Alberni and the West Coast of Vancouver Island
  • Highway 1: Lower Lynn phases 2 and 4 – Keith Rd. /Seymour Parkway I/C, Lynn Creek Connectivity Improvements
  • Highway 5: Carolin Creek Bridge Deck Rehab – Between Hope and the Coquihalla Summit
  • Highway 7: Haney Bypass – Maple Ridge

There will also be more than 30 kilometres of upgrades in the City of Vancouver’s network, including 13 km of water and sewer main work.

For additional statistics, visit tableau infographic.