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October 27, 2017 4:09 pm

Drivers Putting Roadside Workers at Risk

Sunday, August 6, 2017 @ 7:00 AM

This video, courtesy the Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure, demonstrates drivers neglecting the Slow Down, Move Over law

Prince George, B.C. – A new BCAA survey shows that unsafe driver behaviours are putting the lives of roadside workers at risk.

BCAA commissioned the survey (conducted by Insights West) to improve driver awareness of the existing Slow Down, Move Over Law and to remind drivers how to safely drive past a roadside scene.

From 2004-2013, more than 240 roadside workers have been struck by passing vehicles. 15 of those were killed.

“I have at least one close call a week, where I’m helping someone whose car has broken down and a driver speeds by just inches from me,” says Al Lam, tow truck driver and roadside assistance service tech with BCAA. “I can actually feel the gust of air from the car on my back.”

According to the survey, Al is not alone, as 48 per cent of respondents have witnessed drivers speed by a roadside scene and 46 per cent have seen drivers zoom by too close to the scene.

Forty-three per cent noted abrupt lane changes, 79 per cent noted ‘rubbernecking’ which slows and distracts drivers while 11 per cent have seen drivers nearly hit roadside workers or someone involved in the scene.

The Slow Down Move Over Law requires drivers to slow down and move over for any vehicle stopped alongside the road that has flashing red, blue or yellow lights to give roadside workers enough room to safely do their jobs.

Those vehicles include tow trucks, roadside assistance techs, road maintenance and utility crews, police, firefighters, and emergency responders.

According to the law, motorists must slow their speed to 70 km/h when in an 80 km/h or over zone and 40 km/h when in an under-80 km/h zone.

If travelling on a multi-lane road, and it’s safe to do so, drivers must also move into the other lane going in the same direction to drive past any stopped vehicle with flashing lights. Failure to do so can result in a $173 fine.

The survey also shows while most drivers are aware of the Slow Down, Move Over Law, most came up short on what the law entails.

Over 80 per cent incorrectly identified the speed reduction required by the law, 59 per cent are unaware of which coloured flashing lights are indicators to follow the law and 43 per cent don’t know that they need to change lanes.


When I worked road crew in the early 90’s we thought it was dangerous then we had 3 flaggers hit none seriously but two had broken arms. We were constantly on the lookout for drivers who would either intentionally or accidentally drift over the cones and on several occasions we jumped out of the way of several inattentive drivers. We constantly had bruised backs and sides from getting hit by mirrors and on more than one occasion we had vehicles rear ended by inattentive drivers.

Are you a good driver. Do you hold and use an electronic device while driving? Do you pay attention to flagger commands? Do you speed through construction zones? Do you yell or verbally abuse road workers? If you hold an electronic device while driving, ignore flagger instructions and speed through work zones and yell at road crew workers then no you are not a good driver you are a dangerous driver who is putting everyone around you at risk.

Don’t believe me sit at a construction zone and watch the other drivers to see what they do and you will see why road workers are so anxious

    I believe. Good Post. Just wish them folks would read these.

“Don’t believe me sit at a construction zone and watch the other drivers to see what they do and you will see why road workers are so anxious ” I believe you . I would add . If you do sit at a construction zone , please bring your camera . Preferably a dash camera . It’s about the only thing that not only works autonomously but has made many convictions slam dunks that car companies do not include ( as far as I know ). They should at least put cameras on emergency vehicles .

Put photo radar units in the vehicles and start mailing out the tickets.

Personally, I am getting tired of paying for others bad habits and being unnecessarily put into harms way because we won’t use technology to enforce the rules of the road … any party that will support the full implementation of photo radar, stop light cameras and on-board emergency vehicle cameras has my vote next election.

    They won’t get my vote and a majority of others if polls are to be believed. Photo radar is a police state tactic aimed at revenue generation and not making better drivers.

    Ticketing the vehicle owner after the fact and not the driver has no value in driver training and enforcement of infractions. It’s a police state tactic used to harass a moment of inattention, which everyone is guilty of from time to time.

    You want to go after drivers that don’t respect to work zones than police the zones and ticket the offenders in real time making an example of the worst offenders in the daylight where all can see from the example.

    Using police state tactics from behind a computer is reprehensible in a freedom loving society.

      Maybe they could catch a few Excel drivers that tailgate up to passing lanes then wait to run you out out of road at the end of the passing lane. That would make my day.

      I don’t see this as a company specific issue other than we have an admitted Lomax driver taking cheep shots. You are no different when it comes to ignorant drivers that try to block passing on a passing lane as evidenced above by a dumbfounded comment above. A guy that also brags about using his high beems at the last moment to blind drivers, or hopes he gets to run one of them over someday for their “stupid driving”,… so he spends his whole day behind the wheel trying to bait in his next YouTube star like any winner would. I hope your neighbors dog barks all night for you.

    Photo radar and red light cameras are nothing more than a tax grab.

Then a short time ago fire trucks where stopped on Peden hill west on the outside lane in the curve attending to an accident caused by road racers. I and others came around the curve with no warming there they are, I had to brake hard and almost got rear ended. There was no warning, no flaggers and yes I was doing the speed limit.

Common sense is needed on both sides of the issue.

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