Do you see us? Traffic control personnel need cooperation

While its posted speed limit of 50 kmph and double-solid line are there for safety, it is a hazardous place to work.

Cora Lange special to the Citizen

Last December, BC Hydro contracted tree services to ensure trees and branches remain clear of electrical lines along Shawnigan Lake Road. We traffic control personnel were there, too.

Due to its winding nature, blind spots, hidden driveways, narrow and soft shoulders, open ditches, and poor visibility, Shawnigan Lake Road is dreaded by many TCPs. While its posted speed limit of 50 kmph and double-solid line are there for safety, it is a hazardous place to work.

The tree service crews focused on their difficult and dangerous job, TCPs ensured traffic flow was clear of moving machinery, falling branches, and rolling logs. They navigated the safety of pedestrians and cyclists, residents and commuters as well as the safety of the crew.

Electronic signs on either end of the work zone warned of the work to be done. Our three bright orange roadway signs warned commuters: Construction Ahead, Prepare to Stop, and TCP Ahead. When you are between our two sets of orange diamond signs, please slow down because we are on the road; otherwise we remove these signs when we leave the road at the end of our shift.

TCPs can’t ensure safety without the cooperation of drivers. Unfortunately, Worksafe BC statistics (www.worksafebc.com/news_room.news_releases/2014/new_14_07_07.asp) tell a sad story. In a nine year period, “15 workers died and another 224 were injured and missed time from work because of roadside vehicle incidents.” TCPs have authority to report violations of the Motor Vehicle Act, including the following:

• 140 Disobey construction signs $196-$253 and 3 points on your licence

• 141 Disobey flagman $196 and 3 points on your licence

While working along Shawingan Lake Road, we appreciated friendly smiles and waves acknowledging that you saw us. Thank you to all drivers for slowing down and leaving a comfortable distance between their vehicle and the TCP.

Safety means we all go home at the end of the day. We live and work in this community and we wish you a happy and safe new year!

PS: Thank you to Lynn, a generous local resident who dropped off coffee and donuts to the hard working crew.

Cora Lange is a member of JSK Traffic Control Personnel