Home Truck News Alberta expanding slow down move over safety law - Truck News

Alberta expanding slow down move over safety law – Truck News

Alberta is bolstering roadside worker safety rules, protecting first responders, tow truck operators, highway maintenance workers and snowplow operators with the slow down and move over legislation under the Traffic Safety Act.

To increase safety for all roadside workers, starting Sept. 1, drivers in the lane closest to any roadside worker vehicle stopped at the side of the road with its lights flashing must slow down to 60 km/h or the posted speed limit, whichever is lower.

Drivers must also move over to the far lane if it’s safe to do so and take reasonable steps to allow other drivers to move over as well.

road construction signs
(Photo: iStock)

Currently, only tow truck drivers and first responders are protected under the act, but now all roadside workers stopped on the side of the road, with their flashing lights activated, will be covered by these protections.

To help enforce these changes, fines and demerits will be applied for unsafe behaviors when passing roadside workers and snowplows. Failure to comply with the rules can result in:

  • $243 and three demerit points for failing to slow down to the maximum speed limit when passing stopped roadside workers.
  • $243 fine and three demerit points for failing to allow other drivers to move into a traffic lane farther from a stopped emergency vehicle, tow truck or roadside work vehicle.
  • A fine of $324 and three demerit points for unsafe passing of snowplows.

“This is a common-sense rule change. If you see any flashing lights and people working on the side of the road, slow down to 60 km/h or move over to make an open lane beside them. We want to protect our police, paramedics, maintenance workers and tow truck drivers so they can get home safely at the end of the day. These people proudly serve Alberta, and we want to make sure we look out for them,” said Devin Dreeshen, minister of transportation and economic corridors.

Drivers must do their part

“Worker safety is the top priority of our highway maintenance contractor member companies. While we provide training to employees so they can work safely around traffic, we rely on drivers to do their part to slow and make space for workers and machinery. ARHCA thanks all members of the legislature who supported Bill 5 for their concern for our employees’ lives,” said Ronald Glen, CEO, Alberta Roadbuilders and Heavy Construction Association.

According to Alberta’s Workers’ Compensation Board (WCB), there were 2,229 injuries involving workers being struck by a vehicle between 2014 and 2018. And between March 2018 and March 2021, there were approximately 130 collisions involving snowplows contracted by Transportation and Economic Corridors. During the winter of 2022-23, there were 37 collisions involving a government-contracted snowplow.

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