It was an event reminding Chilliwack drivers they need to be “in the moment” when behind the wheel.
The fourth annual Road Safety Day from Safer City Chilliwack in Cottonwood Mall parking lot was waving a red flag to get the public’s attention in a fun and interactive way.
“This annual event is a chance to engage the public about road safety, have them talk to RCMP or firefighters, check out the displays.
“It’s also to let them know these are the actual people working on the side of the road,” said Samantha Piper, public safety specialist with City of Chilliwack.
The fun on June 25 included Cone Zone Rides with Segways, or checking out the RCMP Crash Simulator. There were kids trying on safety gear and gawking at fire trucks, and others posed for photos in tiny tow trucks.
The displays and booths were heralding the rules of the road, and ways to make driving safer in a bunch of creative ways. There was a huge Tonka truck, city equipment, a prize draw and even a “selfie station.”
Road safety in this context thinking in terms of the most vulnerable road users like cyclists or pedestrians, as well as the exposed roadside workers like flaggers, RCMP, paramedics, or commercial vehicle inspectors.
“The whole idea with ‘Slow Down, Move Over’ campaign is something very important to roadside workers and their families,” Piper said.
Drivers must slow their speed in a cone zone to 70 km/hr on the highway when folks are working roadside, or drop down to 40 km/hr when cruising through in town.
“What we’re all saying here is just imagine if your office or workspace was located roadside, would you want cars zooming by? We’re asking everyone to remember that and slow down.”
There was lots to do during the day, and they had a lot of fun raising awareness about a serious topic.
It’s serious because of the risk of on-the-job injury or fatalities for road workers. Between 1990 and 2014, according to WorkSafe BC, 2,305 workers were killed by injury on the job.
So what was the best outcome that the organizer could imagine from Road Safety Day?
“I’d have to say the best thing would be that driver behaviour is changed on the side of the road,” said Piper.
“That if they are behind the wheel, they are staying in the moment, and totally focused on driving.”