BY RICHARD GLBERT -Members of the local flaggers association in B.C. are feeling positive about a meeting with the provincial minister of transportation in which they discussed the need to double fines for speeding in construction zones.
“We were able to provide him (Minister of Transportation and Infrastructure Todd Stone) with some important data and informed the minister on what is being done in other provinces,” said Tammy Sampson, cofounder of the B.C. Flagging Association and director of operations with BCRS Road Safe Inc.
“B.C. is the only province that does not have double the fine.”
Stone met with Sampson, as well as representatives from the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers and the City of Surrey in Victoria on April 2.
At the meeting, Sampson presented data from Surrey that shows 85 per cent of people driving in construction zones are not doing the speed limit.
In addition, this study also found that 43 per cent were travelling faster than the regular posted speed limit.
The study was undertaken about two weeks ago in an 80 kilometre per hour zone that was reduced to 60 kilometres per hour.
“The minister has directed his staff to further investigate and collect more data at a municipal level,” said Sampson.
“He will be looking into what the other provinces are doing and the effectiveness of these higher fines. We did ask that all fines be double when in a construction zone so this will include distracted driving.”
While in Victoria, Sampson met with New Democrat Party Transportation critic Claire Trevena, who is taking an interest in the request from the flaggers.
According to Sampson, it took more than three months for Minister Stone to respond to an initial request for information about their recommendations for improving safety for traffic control people.
The B.C. Flagging Association has been advocating for more than two years for a change in the law.
However, they said that the provincial government has been giving them the run around and they have had great difficulty getting straight answers.
Members of the flagging association began sending requests for change to the former minister of justice and attorney general Shirley Bond in May 2012.
This continued until September 2012, when former minister of transportation Blair Leckstrom announced to the media that fines would be doubled in construction zones.
Bond said she was taking action on the flaggers’ concerns. Leckstrom said he was supporting Bond with this change in the law.
Despite these promises, nothing has been done.
The B.C. Flaggers Association will be meeting with the Minister Stone again in two to three months to follow-up.
There are 20,644 certified TCPs in the province.