Ontario drivers threatening road work safety
By Andrew Macklin
May 20, 2016 – A new survey released today by the Ontario Road Builders’ Association (ORBA) found one in every three drivers (28%) admits that they are not always focused on the road while driving. This can lead to speeding, weaving or failing to notice road signage, putting both drivers and road workers at risk.
The message from ORBA is simple: construction zones are workplaces and should be treated with respect and consideration for their workers. The survey, conducted by Ipsos, shows that many drivers report witnessing a number of other drivers’ bad habits including speeding (87%), weaving (72%) and road rage (61%). This behaviour, when conducted in a work zone, endangers the safety of Ontario’s road workers. The survey also found that most Ontario drivers agree construction sites are simply people doing their jobs (93%) but a significant majority also report viewing construction sites as an inconvenience (75%).
To educate drivers about the safety risks associated with ignoring road rules in construction zones, ORBA has launched an educational campaign. Site Unseen is a video series that imagines what would happen if the types of behaviours drivers display in construction zones were instead conducted by road workers in other professional settings, such as a traditional office. ORBA hopes the campaign will help drivers see how recklessness and poor etiquette in construction zones endangers workers and encourage drivers to change their behaviour.
“This campaign is about ensuring drivers perceive construction zones as workplaces – much like an office– and drive accordingly, so construction workers can be safe at work,” said Geoff Wilkinson, Executive Director, Ontario Road Builders’ Association. “Our videos use humour to highlight the misperceptions some drivers have of construction zones and how those misperceptions can put road workers’ safety at risk.”
The Site Unseen videos launched today and will run throughout the summer. The campaign is supported by ORBA, the Ministry of Transportation, the Ministry of Labour and the Ontario Provincial Police.
Road Safety Tips from ORBA to Ensure Construction Zone Safety
- Adhere to posted speed limits and other signage on the road.
- Speed limits change in construction zones for a reason. Make sure you follow posted signage and exercise caution in construction zones.
- Avoid distractions while driving.
- Only use your cell phone when parked, pre-set climate control and plan your route with a GPS before departing. Eliminating distractions will help you stay focused on the road.
- Plan ahead to avoid delays.
- Give yourself extra time for your commute. Know where construction zones and other delays are beforehand so they’re not unexpected and cause a delay.
- Treat construction zones as if they were your own workplace.
- Construction zones are road builders’ workplace. Show respect for the workers by treating it as if it were your own workplace.