Oak Bay police respond to flagger safety concerns

Summer heat means an opportune time to get work done, on buildings and infrastructure.

One of the more distressing sights on Oak Bay and adjacent roads who race through a construction zone, oblivious to the signs – and the people holding them.

The signs say slow down.

Not only are they breaking the law, they’re risking the lives and livelihoods of workers trying to do their jobs.

According to WorksafeBC, there were 15 roadside workers killed between 2007 and 2016. Another 229 workers were injured after being struck by a vehicle.

Last year one person was killed and 21 were injured and missed time from work.

Complaints are infrequent in Oak Bay, says Deputy Chief Ray Bernoties, but they take it seriously.

After all officers, firefighters, police and tow truck drivers are also at risk every time they step out of their vehicle and onto the street by people too dense to understand the implication of their actions.

“While I’m pleased this doesn’t occur too frequently here, even once could destroy many lives. Thus we take this very seriously and have no hesitation in enforcing the applicable laws.”

Driver frustration isn’t new, but the seconds saved by ignoring traffic control personnel can’t be compared to death or injury that impatience might cause.

Road construction is a fact of life in the summer from Oak Bay Avenue to Malahat Drive.

Building in extra time, choosing alternate routes, or taking a deep breath and engaging patience will help ease the frustration.

It might even save a life.

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