Prairie Post (West Edition)

City drivers asked to obey constructi­on rules

- BY AL BEEBER ALBERTA NEWSPAPER GROUP

Every year dozens of workers and motorists are killed in constructi­on zones in Alberta and many would have been preventabl­e if people slowed down and were more attentive, says the Alberta Motor Associatio­n.

The need for safety was reiterated June 8 AB Lethbridge drivers safeby the City of Lethbridge’s Transporta­tion Operations manager Juliane Ruck as paving crews worked in the background on Mayor Magrath Drive South.

In Lethbridge, the City has seen issues where drivers go through or move barricades and ignore cones, signs and flag people, Ruck said.

“We want to remind everybody to be safe,” said Ruck, adding people need to research routes before leaving their home to see what constructi­on is going on.

“Keep in mind all our workers are residents of our city as well,” Ruck said.

Work is ongoing on Mayor Magrath Drive and Scenic Drive has been milled for paving, Ruck said. Paving on Mayor Magrath Drive should be finished in coming days.

Sergeant Daniel Lomness, who is in charge of the Lethbridge Police Service traffic response unit, told media going through a barricade could result in a fine between $162 and $243 for failing to obey a traffic control device. Demerit points will also be applied if a driver is convicted.

Speeding through constructi­on zones is another main concern. If workers are present, speed fines are doubled so if a vehicle’s 10 km over the limit, a driver would get roughly a $110 fine. But in a constructi­on zone and workers are present, the fine would be $222, Lomness said.

Police get lots of complaints and work closely with the City. The paving crew sends Lomness weekly emails about its paving locations because of issues and concerns for workers.

The LPS will focus on constructi­on zones and set up a team to ensure worker safety during this time of year.

“Summertime it’s constructi­on time, especially for roadways. Give yourself a little extra time to get where you need to go, expect there’s constructi­on …obey the traffic control devices and any directions from people giving traffic control around the city,” the sergeant added.

According to the provincial government between 2014-18, 2,229 injuries occurred when workers were struck by a vehicle in the province. There were also about 30 collisions per year involving snowplows. Constructi­on workers along with first responders and tow truck operators are protected under the Traffic Safety Act.

According to the AMA about 900 collisions, some with injuries or fatalities, happen every year in the province causing millions of dollars in damage.

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