Ontario drivers ignore road rules, threatening the safety of construction workers

New campaign aims to educate drivers about safety risks

TORONTO, May 20, 2016 /CNW/ - A new survey released today by the Ontario Road Builders' Association (ORBA) found one in every three drivers (28%) admits that they are not always focused on the road while driving. This can lead to speeding, weaving or failing to notice road signage, putting both drivers and road workers at risk.

The message from ORBA is simple: construction zones are workplaces and should be treated with respect and consideration for their workers. The survey, conducted by Ipsos, shows that many drivers report witnessing a number of other drivers' bad habits including speeding (87%), weaving (72%) and road rage (61%). This behaviour, when conducted in a work zone, endangers the safety of Ontario's road workers. The survey also found that most Ontario drivers agree construction sites are simply people doing their jobs (93%) but a significant majority also report viewing construction sites as an inconvenience (75%).

To educate drivers about the safety risks associated with ignoring road rules in construction zones, ORBA has launched an educational campaign. Site Unseen is a video series that imagines what would happen if the types of behaviours drivers display in construction zones were instead conducted by road workers in other professional settings, such as a traditional office. ORBA hopes the campaign will help drivers see how recklessness and poor etiquette in construction zones endangers workers and encourage drivers to change their behaviour.

"This campaign is about ensuring drivers perceive construction zones as workplaces – much like an office– and drive accordingly, so construction workers can be safe at work," said Geoff Wilkinson, Executive Director, Ontario Road Builders' Association. "Our videos use humour to highlight the misperceptions some drivers have of construction zones and how those misperceptions can put road workers' safety at risk."

The Site Unseen videos launched today and will run throughout the summer. The campaign is supported by ORBA, the Ministry of Transportation, the Ministry of Labour and the Ontario Provincial Police.

Road Safety Tips from ORBA to Ensure Construction Zone Safety

  • Adhere to posted speed limits and other signage on the road.
    • Speed limits change in construction zones for a reason. Make sure you follow posted signage and exercise caution in construction zones.
  • Avoid distractions while driving.
    • Only use your cell phone when parked, pre-set climate control and plan your route with a GPS before departing. Eliminating distractions will help you stay focused on the road.
  • Plan ahead to avoid delays.
    • Give yourself extra time for your commute. Know where construction zones and other delays are beforehand so they're not unexpected and cause a delay.
  • Treat construction zones as if they were your own workplace.
    • Construction zones are road builders' workplace. Show respect for the workers by treating it as if it were your own workplace.



  • Hon. Steven Del Duca, Minister of Transportation

    • As Ontario continues to invest in critical transportation infrastructure, and as the number of cars on the road continues to increase, we must all focus on the safety of our road workers as they do their very important jobs. This campaign highlights the importance of construction zone safety for Ontario road builders and motorists. Drivers must remember to adhere to posted signage and to respect Ontario's road workers.
  • Hon. Kevin Flynn, Minister of Labour

    • It's important when we're driving to remember that our roads and highways are also sometimes workplaces, and everyone has the right to a safe workplace – we need to ensure that every person at work is treated with the same level of respect and consideration. Ontario has some of the safest workplaces in the world, and this campaign will help foster safe work environments for the men and women who build, maintain, and repair Ontario's roads. 

  • Ontario Provincial Police Deputy Commissioner Brad Blair, Provincial Commander for Traffic Safety and Operational Support

    • Safe driving is a fundamental responsibility of everyone on the road. There is a reason speed fines double in construction zones – to help foster a safe work environment for Ontario's construction workers. Do your part, slow down and respect construction zones so that our road workers can have a safe work environment and everyone can get home safely.

Supporting Materials


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About the Ipsos Survey

The Ipsos poll conducted between May 3 and May 5, 2016, on behalf of the Ontario Roadbuilder's Association. For this survey, a sample of 801 licensed drivers in Ontario from Ipsos' online panel was interviewed online. The poll is accurate to within +/ - 3.9 percentage points, 19 times out of 20, had all Canadian adults been polled.

About the Ontario Road Builders' Association

ORBA supports and promotes the growth of Ontario's transportation infrastructure industry. As the voice of over 200 road building contractors and suppliers, ORBA members build and maintain the majority of Ontario's provincial highway system, municipal roads, bridges and other public transportation infrastructure, employing over 30,000 workers. Visit orba.org for more information.

SOURCE Ontario Road Builders' Association

Video with caption: "Video: You wouldn’t speed at the office, so why speed in a construction zone? Remember, a construction site is a workplace that should be treated with respect and consideration for their workers. #SiteUnseen". Video available at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=t7qrCg1owjU

For further information: Doug Johnson, FleishmanHillard on behalf of ORBA, 416-294-7270, Douglas.Johnson@fleishman.ca; Geoff Wilkinson, Executive Director, ORBA, 905-449-5762, Geoff@orba.org

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Ontario Road Builders' Association

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