Every summer, roadworks are under way. During summer vacations, there are more people on the roads, and consequently, the number of accidents will increase due to the increased flow of traffic. Caution when driving past construction sites! Here are a few examples of tragic accidents that could have been avoided.
Fatal accidents on construction sites
July 23, 2015 – The victim? Francis Précourt, a 41-year-old land surveyor from Saint-Cyrille-de-Wendover, Quebec. The accident? He was run over by a bulldozer during a manoeuvre. When the ambulance arrived, the worker had his legs crushed and showed lacerations and important injuries. He was taken to the emergency room of the Sainte-Croix Hospital in Drummondville, and was then transferred to the CHUS. He died a few days later.
August 27, 2012 – The victim? Ashley Richards, 18 years old. She was in charge of traffic control on a roadwork site when she was struck by a SUV at Midale in southeast Saskatchewan. She was pregnant. Her fiancé who was working nearby on the same worksite saw the vehicle coming and witnessed the fatal accident. The owner of the company where Ashley Richards worked revealed that drivers do not respect traffic signs when driving by construction sites.
September 8, 2011 – The victim? Georges Berger, a 60-year-old land surveyor working at the Highway 30 construction site in Châteauguay, Quebec, was killed by a 20-ton truck that was backing up to unload rocks.
Dangers on construction sites
Governments are stepping up the advertising campaigns and prevention programs to encourage drivers to slow down in work zones, but surprisingly, as a recent study concluded, the primary danger for workers comes from construction vehicles. One might think that most workers are killed by speeding vehicles, but in reality, construction vehicles on worksites are the most dangerous. On a roadwork site, noise is always present: heavy trucks, percussion drills, powered shovels and noise alarms are deafening. It takes a split second of carelessness and a backup alarm goes unnoticed. As for the death of Georges Berger, the backup alarm was in working order.
Respect traffic signs!
Orange traffic signs have appeared alongside the road? Time to slow down and drive with extra caution. Since 2011, fines for exceeding the speed limit in construction zones have doubled in order to heighten the awareness of drivers and encourage them to slow down. Respect people working in difficult, noisy and dangerous conditions. They have families and friends, and want to return home safe and sound after their shift. Do not endanger their lives!
Traffic signs announcing or identifying a worksite help drivers to travel safety. The road is often deviated for the duration of the construction period and drivers must be extremely careful. Important note: traffic signs must be obeyed at all times, even when work is suspended or there is no worker visible on the construction site.
As a reminder, here are the main traffic signs used on roadwork sites. Respect them in order for everyone to have a happy and safe summer!
The “Flagger Ahead” sign indicates the presence of a flagger controlling the traffic in roadwork zones. Be courteous and obey the signs.
Placed on the side of public roads with three lanes going in the same direction, the “Lane Ends Merge” sign indicates that the left lane is temporarily closed due to roadwork and must merge into the other opened lanes.
The “Road Work Ahead” indicates a work zone on a traffic lane or near one. Be very careful!
The sign with a slanted arrow indicates the direction to follow at that point where a traffic lane is partially or completely closed.
The “Truck Crossing” signs indicate where trucks can access the public road from the worksite
The “Closed Road” sign indicates that from that location, the road is temporarily closed to traffic. Follow the detour signs!
The “Speed Limit” sign indicates the prescribed maximum speed limit near a worksite. Respect it for the safety of workers and yours!