Storm encounter was an unpleasant experience
Last October I was in Cape Breton attending Celtic Colors. One evening I was returning to my hotel in Sydney and the road was blocked because of the flood.
The problem for me occurred at the city limits below the old Shannon home as I later found out. It was between 10-11 p.m. at the time.
As I passed on King’s Road there was a truck parked in the middle of the road on the white line facing traffic with the arrow lit to my right. There were no barricades and nobody in sight. There was room to pass on either side.
So what did it mean?
Most people would take this as meaning to pass on the right side of the arrow. Seeing no other indication I proceeded to do this. When I approached the city line I saw the road covered with water and a backhoe working. Not knowing what was happening and realizing the road might be totally washed out I turned and went back to where the truck was parked.
I stopped and, apparently as it turned out, had the gall to disturb the individual in the truck and ask him what was happening. He said the sign meant that I was to detour up the road on the north side. I asked him how I was supposed to know that and he answered: “If you couldn’t figure that you shouldn’t have a driving license.” I suggested he could have put up a barricade or been out of his truck to flag cars. He said no, not in this weather.
The next morning as I left Sydney the Sydney end of the road was properly blocked and signed as it should be. My passengers suggested I go to city hall and file a complaint but I rejected that idea as CBRM had more pressing problems.
Hopefully, this individual’s only qualification was the fact that he was alive and moving at least to some extent. I would hope that he was not trained. But I suggest he shouldn’t have been in this position without training. He represented his employers – the CBRM – and had his inaction been the cause of injury or death I suggest there would be serious liability issues.
I realize it was a busy night and somebody put him there with the idea that a warm body was better than nothing. This is not good thinking.
I’m involved with training with the IMSA International Municipal Safety Association and I am aware of their many training programs in the area of Work Zone Safety such as Book7, Signs and markings Level I and II and III, Construction and many others.
I suggest that the CBRM look into these programs and ensure that their employees provide safe and courteous service to those they are well compensated to serve. I realize that this individual’s words and actions do not represent the majority of CBRM employees but not everyone knows that.
William (Bill) Graham Mississauga, Ont.