Drivers reminded to slow down to save lives as Sask. road construction season begins
Albert Brown says he was told to wake up and treat every day like it’s his last when he was training to become a flag person for road construction jobs.
Three weeks in, he says communication with his co-workers is key when out on the road but admits communication can only do so much. Drivers need to do their part as well.
“I’m learning that I’ve always got to be looking over my shoulder at traffic,” Brown, 22, said on Thursday.
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Work will be done on about 990 kilometres of highway in Saskatchewan this summer. Minister of Highways David Marit is urging drivers to use caution in construction zones.
“We had too many incidents,” he said.
“Everybody’s got family and everybody wants to get home.”
Flag person killed in 2012
Ashley Richards, 18, was killed in August 2012 after she was struck by a vehicle near Midale, Sask., during her first day on the job as a flag person.
Richards had moved to Saskatchewan from New Brunswick to start a family with her fiance. She was pregnant at the time.
In May 2015, three teens from Carrot River, Sask. were killed when the car they were in was struck from behind by a semi-trailer in a construction zone near Spalding, Sask.
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The crash killed Carter Stevenson, 17, Justin Gaja, 14, and Kristian Skalicky, 15, all from Carrot River. Stevenson had been driving the car, RCMP said.
The collision caused a chain reaction which caused a flag person to be struck by another vehicle. The worker was hospitalized with serious injuries.
Diana Lumbala, 19, is three weeks into her first gig as a flag person. Lumbala, who works with Brown, said there are buffer zones and escape routes planned for emergency situations.
She said there is some worry but she puts her trust in the rest of the crew to have her back.
If there is an emergency situation where she has to think fast, Lumbala said “you have to drop your sign and run.”
The speed limit in construction zones is 60 km/h. Fines for speeding triple in construction zones.