One of the more disturbing sights on Chilliwack roads is watching motorists race through a construction zone, oblivious to the signs – and the people holding them – requiring them to slow down.
Not only are they breaking the law, they’re risking the lives and livelihoods of workers simply trying to do their jobs.
And that risk is real. According to WorksafeBC, there were 15 roadside workers killed between 2007 and 2016. Another 229 workers were injured after being struck by a vehicle.
Last year one person was killed and 21 were injured and missed time from work.
It’s not just construction workers. Firefighters, police and tow truck drivers are at risk every time they step out of their vehicle and onto the street by people too dense to understand the implication of their actions.
Frustration on city streets is nothing new. But the seconds saved by ignoring traffic control personnel can’t be compared to death or injury that impatience might cause.
Road construction is a fact of life in the summer, particularly after such a vengeful winter. We’ll no doubt be experiencing multiple delays as crews repair damage, or add infrastructure to Chilliwack’s growing road network.
But building in extra time, choosing alternate routes, or simply taking a deep breath and waiting will help ease that frustration.
It might even save a life.
As Trina Pollard, manager of Industry and Labour Services for WorkSafeBC says, “Every roadside worker deserves to make it home to their family at the end of their shift without injury.”
~ Greg Knill, Chilliwack Progress