Const. Rob Marshall of BC RCMP Highway Patrol records the speeds of motorists driving through a cone zone while TELUS worker Chad Barnett is on the work site on Dog Creek Road Tuesday (Sept. 14). (Angie Mindus photo - Williams Lake Tribune)

Const. Rob Marshall of BC RCMP Highway Patrol records the speeds of motorists driving through a cone zone while TELUS worker Chad Barnett is on the work site on Dog Creek Road Tuesday (Sept. 14). (Angie Mindus photo - Williams Lake Tribune)

RCMP educate motorists to respect cone zones

A Telus worker was fatally injured last year at a work site

RCMP BC Highway Patrol were out in full force Tuesday morning (Sept. 14) in Williams Lake protecting an on-the-job TELUS worker while educating the motoring public to respect the cone zones.

Officers checked the speed of 50 vehicles on Dog Creek Road while Chad Barnett of TELUS worked high above in a bucket truck. Three violations were issued: two for speed and one for no driver’s license. The 90-minute enforcement was conducted at 634 Dog Creek Road.

“Our main objective is keeping the public safe and that includes workers in coned areas on the roads and highways,” said highway patrol officer Const. Rob Marshall, who was positioned behind the TELUS truck to read the speed of passing motorists. “All too often we find people, motorists distracted or disregarding the safety of these workers so we are out here trying to educate and enforce the work zone areas.”

The enforcement occurred thanks to a partnership with RCMP BC Highway Patrol officers from Williams Lake, Quesnel, and 100 Mile House and TELUS and the Work Zone Safety Alliance to raise awareness about the risks workers face while working on or alongside the road in Williams Lake.

The traffic enforcement was part of the B.C. Cone Zone Campaign, now in its 11th year. The campaign reminds employers, workers, and drivers to do their part to prevent deaths and injuries to roadside workers. TELUS workers have been injured in Williams Lake, including a fatality last year.

RCMP will ticket drivers for unsafe behaviours. Tickets can range from $196 for disobeying a flag person to $368 for using an electronic device while driving to $483 for speeding.

Cone zones are work areas set up by roadside workers to protect themselves and the driving public. Road maintenance crews, tow truck operators, first responders, municipal workers, traffic control persons, construction crews, and other roadside workers all depend on drivers to respect the cone zone to keep their workplaces safe.

As traffic in Williams Lake picks up during the re-opening of schools, the B.C. Cone Zone campaign reminds drivers to slow down when driving through a cone zone and pay attention to instructions from traffic control persons, temporary road signs and traffic control devices. Drivers need to stay focused on the road and leave their phone alone.

In addition, under B.C.’s “Slow Down, Move Over” legislation, drivers should be prepared to reduce speed and, if safe to do so, move over to an open lane when approaching a vehicle with flashing amber, red or blue lights (tow, fire, police).

Williams Lake