Cops pose as construction flaggers for distracted driving crackdown
Vancouver police posed as traffic flaggers Monday to bust unsuspecting motorists driving distracted through construction zones.
The undercover sting was part of WorkSafeBC’s fifth annual Cone Zone campaign, which targets the kinds of reckless driving behaviour that put roadside workers at risk – and sometimes costs them their lives.
According to WorkSafeBC, 15 people were killed by cars and another 226 were injured while working behind traffic cones between 2006 and 2015.
Construction flagger Christine Vadnais said she constantly sees drivers on their cellphones, and she’s grateful to see police cracking down.
“We all want to make it home to our families. We’ve all got babies, we’ve all got parents, brothers, sisters we want to go home to,” said Vadnais.
“We’re not here to impede your day or make you angry. We’re here to make you safe.”
WorkSafeBC said drivers should expect an increase in road maintenance and construction throughout the Lower Mainland this summer, including on the Pattullo and Burrard bridges and the Bridgeport overpass.
Motorists are urged to be responsible and always pay attention in construction zones, as well as any other areas where police officers, paramedics, firefighters, city workers, landscapers, tow truck drivers or maintenance workers could be doing their jobs at the roadside.
“They are all there doing a good job, working hard for you and we’re asking [drivers] to take care make sure they are safe as they drive by these work zones,” said Mark Ordeman, manager of industry and labour services for WorkSafeBC.
The people dinged for distracted driving in Vancouver on Monday were only hit with fines of $167 and three driver penalty points, but the punishments will soon become much more severe. Under B.C.’s new rules taking effect June 1, distracted drivers will face at least $543 in financial penalties.
With a report from CTV Vancouver’s Penny Daflos