Slow down and pay attention at 'Cone Zones'

The annual Cone Zone campaign kicks off in July to improve the safety of people working along the roadside.

The campaign urges employers, workers and drivers to do their part to prevent injuries and deaths of roadside workers.Roadside work is a dangerous job.

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Last year, one roadside worker died as a result of being hit by a motor vehicle and 19 were injured. Between 2010 and 2019, 13 roadside workers were killed and 204 were injured.

In the campaign’s tenth year, the RCMP 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.

These risks are very prevalent in the summer months as roadside work across the province increases.

Traffic levels are typically high at this time of year, and are expected to be busier this summer as many British Columbians travel within the province due to the COVID-19 pandemic.The campaign reminds drivers to slow down when approaching a Cone Zone and to pay attention to instructions from traffic control persons, temporary road signs and traffic control devices. Every worker deserves to go home safely at the end of their shift.In addition, under the “Slow Down, Move Over” law, 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 (tow, fire, police, ambulance).As part of the campaign, a traffic enforcement blitz will occur at roadside work zones.

Tickets will be issued for violations, such as speeding, disobeying a flag person, or using an electronic device while driving.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, traffic control persons, construction crews and other roadside workers all depend on drivers to respect the Cone Zone to keep their workplaces safe.

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, supervision and resources to help keep them safe.

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