Slowing down around road workers and flaggers can prevent close calls and help keep workers safe.
That’s the message from the BCAA as they conducted their ‘Slow Down Move Over Drivers Awareness Campaign’ late last week.
At the intersection of the Nanaimo Parkway and Northfield Road in Nanaimo last Thursday, the BCAA and Nanaimo RCMP came together to inform drivers about the importance of slowing down around road workers.
“We had a tow truck out there with a broken down vehicle with the cones zone and so essentially as BC motorists strolled by, if they did not slow down or move over and they were asked to come into our waiting area,” said Ravi Dhaliwhal, BCAA’s Senior Manager of Automotive Operations. “There we issued them a warning letter— just an education piece. These really are just to inform them of the ‘slow down, move over’ law and the potential fine that also is a part of it. Again, it’s education and you wanna be proactive with it.”
Dhaliwhal states the main objective of the campaign is to educate people about the law in order to keep road workers safe.
In September, a road worker was killed in a fatal accident near Nanaimo, with another seriously injured by a driver who was reportedly driving too fast.
“It’s pretty scary how many close calls there are out there. Unfortunately we’ve lost colleagues, and that’s what motivates us to get out and do something like this. It’s just the awareness and information piece so drivers know that there has to be a safe space for these people to work. They are in there— in a dangerous environment— doing a job.”
Dhaliwhal says that Thursday’s campaign was a ‘great success,’ as they saw motorists respecting the cone zone and workers.
“The most important part is people understanding that if there is a a flashing red, blue, or yellow lights, with the vehicle on the side of the road, it could be even just cones set up— like what we had initially [Thursday]— you need to slow down, you need to move over. If you’re in a multilane road and it’s safe to do so you can pull into the lane beside you— that’s ideal. Again, just whatever you can do to create that safe work space for those workers on the side of the road.”