You Are Now Entering the Cone Zone

A cone zone version of twilight zone graphic

We thought of beginning this Cone Zone post with a play on the opening narration of the popular science fiction series The Twilight Zone.

We decided against it.

You see, the vulnerability of roadside workers is just too serious to be whimsical. The number of British Columbians injured or killed on the job shows that a major shift in driver attitude is needed to protect these workers, especially as we enter construction and maintenance season.

The numbers are startling. Between 2011 and 2020…

  • 207 roadside workers were injured and missed time from work as a result of being hit by a motor vehicle
  • 12 workers were killed

… while doing their jobs on roadsides in BC

Here are 5 ways to ensure both you and roadside workers stay safe:WorkSafeBC quote on construction zone safety

  • Slow down. Workers report speeding and driver distraction (primarily cell phone use), as the most common dangerous driving behaviour they witness.
  • Pay attention – if you are using a hands-free device, end your call immediately.
  • Respect roadside workers – be sure to give them space (move over to the another lane, if safe to do so), and follow their signs and directions
  • Check for traffic delays before you leave
    • DriveBC – Provides real time information on current road and travel conditions. The DriveBC map pinpoints (with cone icons, no less) specific construction locations on provincial highways.
    • Listen to your local radio station traffic report
    • Visit your municipal website for work zone locations
  • Allow more time for your commute and take a different route if possible

Not all roadside workers are protected by Cone Zones, which means drivers always have to be cautious and aware of their surroundings, even when bright orange cones are not announcing the presence of a work zone. Take emergency personnel, for instance.

“Drivers often associate cone zones with traffic control personnel or flaggers, but it’s important to remember that there are many other types of workers at the side of the road,” says WorkSafeBC’s Mark Ordeman.

We all have a responsibility to protect roadside workers inside and outside the Cone Zone. Changing our attitude isn’t as difficult as passing through another dimension. It just takes a little respect.

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