Several drivers received an expensive lesson in road safety Monday morning, May 15, in Aldergrove, with 11 ticketed in less than two hours on Fraser Highway near 240th, where crews are working on widening the road.
One ticket was for failing to wear a seatbelt, while the other 10 were all for using handheld cell phones, a number that that Sgt. Patrick Davies of the B.C. Highway Patrol termed “amazing” considering most new cars come with hands-free connections.
“It’s amazing to all of us,” Sgt. Davies commented.
Fines for phone users are $368, and four points on their licence for a first offence, enough to move the driver into an more expensive high-risk insurance category, Davies told the Langley Advance Times.
An unknown number of drivers were also stopped on the side road, 240th Street.
During one 15-minute stretch, the Langley Advance Times counted four vehicles pulled over for a chat with an officer about safety rules in construction areas.
It was the start of the 13th annual B.C. Cone Zone Campaign, with police setting up in roadside work zones to check for speeding, aggressive and distracted driving, and compliance with flag persons and traffic signs.
One officer was mixed in with the workers wearing a flagger’s vest and hard hat, carrying a portable radio to alert police down the road to pull over offenders.
“We’re looking for violators proceeding through the construction zone in either direction,” Davies said.
Police also had a camera car, which was reading the license plates of the vehicles passing through, searching for uninsured and prohibited drivers.
Cone Zone is a joint provincial initiative managed by Road Safety at Work, led by the Work Zone Safety Alliance, and supported by WorkSafeBC and Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure.
Campaign spokesperson Trace Acres said the whole idea is to “remind drivers that they have a responsibility to proceed safely through work zones, to stay off their cell phones, not be distracted, obey the the signage and the instructions of traffic control personnel, and to keep their speeds at or below the posted speed limit through the construction zone.”
Acres was “encouraged” that no speeding tickets had to be issued, and predicted there will likely be more such “enforcement events” this summer.
Between 2012 and 2021, 12 roadside workers were killed and 221 were injured and lost time from work as a result of being hit by a vehicle.
Risks to roadside workers rise in the summer months as roadside work increases at this time of year.
More photos from the day can be viewed online at the Langley Advance Times Facebook page.
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