Distraction and the Cone Zone

Roadside worker safety awareness campaign

BURNABY, BC, Sept. 30, 2011 /CNW/ - Roadside workers deal with distracted drivers every day.

Pedestrian and vehicle traffic increases when kids are back in school and drivers are back to the daily commute, making the "cone zone" a more dangerous place to work.

At the start of the summer the Work Zone Safety Alliance, a collection of organizations committed to improving the safety of roadside workers, launched the Cone Zone campaign.  The campaign is a road safety initiative that encourages drivers to slow down, pay attention and be respectful when driving near roadside workers.

WorkSafeBC reports that over the past ten years 386 roadside workers have been injured by motor vehicles — typically while working in cone zones. Nearly half of those injuries were serious and three percent resulted in fatalities.

"Roadside work is dangerous," says Mark Ordeman, WorkSafeBC Industry and Labour Services Manager. "A driver that is distracted while passing through a cone zone adds to the danger and makes roadside workers in B.C. even more vulnerable to injury on the job."

"Everyone seems to be distracted by one thing or another - cell phones, passengers or their own thoughts," commented David Dunne, director of road safety for the BCAA Road Safety Foundation.

Driving through a cone zone requires a driver's complete attention and focus, added Dunne. A distracted driver could cause a roadside worker to be seriously injured or killed.

Cone zones are set up to keep traffic moving safely and can cause frustration and risk for all involved when drivers and pedestrians are not paying attention.

Tip:  To avoid the frustration that often comes with driving through cone zones, drivers are advised to plan their routes and allow extra travel time; slow down even if they don't see anyone working; leave plenty of space between their vehicle and the one in front of them; be patient and make eye contact with the flag person.

For more information about roadside worker safety, visit WorkSafeBC.com or www.BCAARoadSafety.com.

Editor's Note:
The "Cone Zone" message expands beyond the messages of two other initiatives —WorkSafeBC's "Slow Down" signage campaign aimed at large construction projects, and the provincial government legislation that requires drivers to "slow down and move over" when approaching emergency vehicles stopped at the side of the road— to encompass all roadside workers.

About the Work Zone Safety Alliance:
The Work Zone Safety Alliance is a group of organizations committed to improving the safety of roadside workers. They are the BCAA Road Safety Foundation, BC Ambulance Service, BC Construction Safety Alliance, BC Flagging Association, BC Hydro, BC Landscape and Nursery Association, BC Municipal Safety Association, B.C. Road Builders and Heavy Construction Association, FortisBC, IBEW258, ICBC, Ministry of Public Safety and Solicitor General, Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure, Telus, The Community Against Preventable Injuries, Vancouver Fire and Rescue Services, Lower Mainland police, and WorkSafeBC.

SOURCE BCAA Traffic Safety Foundation

For further information:

Lennea Durant 
Media Relations 
BCAA Road Safety Foundation 
Tel: 604 875-1182
Email: lenneadurant@shaw.ca  
            Heather Young
Public Affairs Manager
WorkSafeBC
Tel : 604 214-5441
Email: heather.young@worksafebc.com

 


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