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Cone Zone campaign in Surrey reminds drivers to mind flaggers and road workers

In B.C., 12 roadside workers died and 221 were injured over the past decade
Surrey flagger Tina Sanches at the corner of 96 Avenue and 160 Street on Monday

Next time you drive by roadside construction or an emergency crew at work, remember that two roadside workers were killed in British Columbia in 2021 and another 31 were injured after getting hit by a vehicle while on the job.

Moreover, Road Safety at Work says 12 workers have died and 221 were injured over the past decade.

Accordingly, the 12th annual Cone Zone Campaign was launched in Surrey on Monday at the intersection of 160 Street and 96 Avenue, where a Cobra Electric bucket truck and crew did some maintenance work on a traffic light post while flagger Tina Sanchez directed oncoming cars and trucks from below.

Fortunately Monday morning was uneventful, relatively speaking. As for personal close calls, Sanches said, those happened “probably when I was a younger traffic control person. Overall, I don’t put myself in ways where I’m going to hurt myself.”

But Trace Acres, program director of Road Safety at Work, said what he was seeing Monday was typical.

“People seem to unfortunately be a bit oblivious to construction zones, even when you’re seeing a lot of cones on the side of the road, when you see traffic safety personnel, and they’re not really slowing down the way that they should be.”

Police ticketed 20 motorists – one for speeding, one for a new driver not displaying an N, eight for not wearing seatbelts and 10 for using a cellphone.

“We’ve seen a lot of cellphones today,” said Sgt. Patrick Davies, of BC Highway Patrol. “We also see a lot of speed in the work zones, which is upsetting as well.”

Besides being dangerous, getting caught using an electronic device while driving is also rough on the wallet, carrying a fine of $368.

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About the Author: Tom Zytaruk

I write unvarnished opinion columns and unbiased news reports for the Surrey Now-Leader.
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