West Kelowna warns drivers to be aware of new roadside worker safety rules

Drivers must now slowdown and move over for any vehicle with a flashing light.

With temperatures warming and spring on its way, West Kelowna roadside workers will be out in force tending to the community’s boulevards and roadways, says the District of Wet Kelonwas.

So it asking motorists to watch for workers and obey the new provincial law that requires drivers to slow down and move over when passing a vehicle with a flashing light.

Beginning as soon as the weather allows, district roads and parks crews will conduct annual boulevard maintenance, sidewalk and street sweeping, road repairs and parks maintenance. The work often involves crew members on roadsides, and maintenance vehicles are regularly parked on narrow roadways in West Kelowna.

Motorists are asked to watch for district maintenance vehicles with flashing yellow lights and make every effort to ensure the safety of the municipal workers.

The province recently simplified the “Slow Down, Move Over” rule in the Motor Vehicle Act to include all vehicles with a flashing light. The change came into force on Jan. 1 and is intended to make it safer for all official roadside workers and to make it easier for drivers to know the rules of the road. They will no longer have to check to see if the flashing light is on an “official” vehicle.

“We certainly appreciate this new, simplified rule in the Motor Vehicle Act that takes into account roadside workers like we have at the district,” said Stacey Harding, parks and fleet supervisor for West Kelowna. “We value the safety of our workers and contractors above all else and it is important that motorists remember to watch for the men and women who work along our roadways and be cautious when passing by.”

Drivers must slow their speed to 70km/h when in an 80km/h or over zone, and to 40km/h when in axone where the speed limit is less than 80km/h. If travelling on a multi-lane road, the driver must move into another lane to pass but only where it is safe to do so. Failing to adjust your speed appropriately or failing to move over could result in a $173 ticket and three penalty points.

 

Kelowna Capital News

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