Thousands of British Columbians work at the roadside in Cone Zones, which are most often associated with bright orange cones. Each zone has its own unique set of hazards associated with roads, traffic, vehicles, weather, and work activities. (File - ShutterStock)

Thousands of British Columbians work at the roadside in Cone Zones, which are most often associated with bright orange cones. Each zone has its own unique set of hazards associated with roads, traffic, vehicles, weather, and work activities. (File - ShutterStock)

Conditions on Highway 1 put roadside workers, drivers at risk near Golden

Winter conditions are making the TransCanada hazardous

A group managed by the Justice Institute of British Columbia and funded by WorkSafeBC is taking issue with hazardous driving conditions on Highway 1 near Golden.

Trace Acres with Road Safety at Work’s Cone Zone BC campaign, said winter conditions are making Highway 1 construction disastrous for road crews and drivers in work zones near Golden.

“Working around traffic is dangerous,” said Acres. “Cold, ice, rain, fog, and fewer daylight hours increase the risk for crews on the project between Donald Upper Road and Yoho Bridge.”

WorkSafeBC statistics show two roadside workers in the province were killed last year and 31 were injured seriously after being hit by a vehicle. Over the last decade, 12 roadside workers have lost their lives and 221 missed time from work due to injury. With winter settling in and the weather becoming inclement, drivers face a higher risk of crashing due to hazardous road conditions.

Driving too fast and not paying attention in a Cone Zone puts roadside workers at risk, and drivers too,” explained Acres. “Orange cones are often the only thing separating their workspace from your vehicle. Cone Zones are there to protect and save lives.”

Drivers approaching a Cone Zone on the route need to:

* Slow down and avoid distractions like a phone. A distraction of even a few seconds can have life-changing consequences

* Pay attention to temporary road signs, traffic cones, and directions given by traffic control persons

* Comply with BC’s Slow Down, Move Over law, which requires drivers to slow down and move over to the left lane when safe to do so for any vehicle flashing a red, blue, or amber light. This includes tow trucks, utility vehicles, garbage trucks, and emergency response vehicles

Typical penalties for unsafe driving in a Cone Zone include a $368 fine for using a phone and at least $196 for speeding.

This is the 12th year of the Cone Zone campaign, which is a provincial initiative supported by the Work Zone Safety Alliance and managed by Road Safety at Work.

READ MORE: Highway 1 braces for snowstorm around Revelstoke

READ MORE: Kicking Horse Canyon stretch of Trans-Canada Highway reopening to the public

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