Column: Drivers not slowing down and moving over, putting others at risk

Ride Between the Lines by Gina Gregg

Gina Gregg

Contributor

WorkSafeBC clearly promotes a worker’s right to refuse unsafe work, be it on a worksite or along our highways.

The Workers Compensation Act and the Occupational Health and Safety Act defines what needs to happen if this right is invoked.

On top of this, Canada has the Motor Vehicle Act, to be enforced by the police in any given area.

Under this act there is a law, known as Slow Down, Move Over, which states drivers must reduce their travelling speed, to 70 km/h if the posted speed is more than 80 km/h, for all vehicles stopped alongside the road that have flashing red, blue or yellow lights.

I say posted speed because most drivers add at least 10 km/h to the posted speed.

Drivers are also required to change lanes if safe to do so.

So why is it a tow truck driver was recently seriously injured in Malakwa one night after being struck by a vehicle traveling on a four-lane highway in a snowstorm?

I need to share my humble conclusions of driver mentality driving through our mountains.

You are in too much of a hurry and our highway is not a racetrack.

Read more: Fundraiser started for tow truck driver injured near Malakwa

Read more: Sicamous RCMP pursuing charges against Alberta driver for collision with tow truck

It is your responsibility to watch for any warning lights of roadside workers.

Under the law, you are required to slow down to 70-km/h.

I suggest in a snowstorm, or when passing through the mountains, that you slow down some more — there is no law against it.

Forget your phone and drive defensively if you are in a mountains snowstorm.

Even our local police complain our Slow Down, Move Over law is not respected. There is not enough manpower to sit at every roadside worksite.

This law came into effect in 2009 and was ratified in 2015. The time for education is over.

Roadside workers, tow truck drivers, service providers, be it phone, hydro or road construction and maintenance — refuse unsafe work.

Demand traffic control at your job site. Do nothing until proper controls are in place to keep you, your equipment and other road users from harm.

It’s the law.

Pass the cost of proper traffic control services to your client.

Proper use of traffic control services in this instance would have given more than a kilometre of warning, reduced traveling speed and shifted oncoming traffic safely into the other lane and provide a buffer vehicle.

Accidents are preventable.

Gina Gregg is the owner of Stand in the Gap Road Safety Services.

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