Safe driving has no offseason

Last week in this space, we used the occasion of a collision in a school zone to caution motorists to obey posted speed limits and put down distracting devices.

School is about to let out for the summer, but don’t think you’re off the hook.

Summer, of course, means construction crews will be out on the roads, trying to complete projects before the rain and colder temperatures return.

A Victoria-area flagger suffered non-life threatening injuries last week, and it is fortunate the collision wasn’t much worse or even deadly.

There are many moving parts at these sites and it is crucial that drivers pay attention to those directing them. Someone’s life may depend on it — literally. It’s equally important that motorists reduce their speeds. Often a temporary limit will be in place for areas that crews will be working in for an extended time.

While it may seem slow to some, these reduced speeds have been proven to save lives. They also give motorists more time to react. At the very least, slowing down will force those behind you to do so and maybe just snap their attention back to the road.

It’s not just in construction zones that motorists need to be exercising extra caution. Lots of vehicles will be on the roads over the course of the summer and that may mean more people needing roadside assistance.

If you do come across one of these vehicles, you need to slow down and move over. It’s a relatively new law that many motorists aren’t observing.

In B.C., motorists are required to slow down and move over for all vehicles stopped on the side of the road that have flashing red, blue or yellow lights. That includes police, fire, tow truck operators, maintenance workers, utility workers, Commerical Vehicles Safety Enforcement personnel, land surveyors, animal control workers, garbage collectors and many others.

If you do encounter one or more of these individuals the law requires you to change to another lane if safe to do so when passing and reduce your speed.

And if you’re forced to stop and wait, like motorists who came upon the multiple-car collision near the Englishman River bridge on Highway 19 Saturday, that means stop and wait. Not perform a U-turn through the grass median and potentially disrupt emergency vehicles and workers.

So slow down when you see someone working. They shouldn’t have to worry about making it home at the end of their shift.

— Black Press