August 21, 2013
Manitoba unions urge speeding crackdown
Manitoba's federation of labour is urging the province to crack down on speeding in construction zones following the death of a 21-year-old highway flag worker.
In an open letter to Labour Minister Jennifer Howard on Thursday, the federation highlighted the 2010 death of Brittany Murray, who was killed by a driver going nearly double the speed limit.
Michael Blostein, 79, was found not guilty of dangerous driving earlier this year. The verdict is being appealed.
“We have a serious problem in Manitoba if driving that fast in a construction zone is considered to be the reasonable community standard,” wrote federation president Kevin Rebeck.
“It is essential that the province send a clear message to Manitoba drivers that failure to respect reduced speed limits in construction zones is a serious, life-and-death issue and that violators will face serious consequences.”
The current practice of requiring drivers to slow down only when workers are present is too problematic, Rebeck said.
Instead, Manitoba should have clear signs indicating where a construction zone begins and ends, as well as whether there are workers present.
Saskatchewan has brought in rumble strips and gates on major projects to alert drivers that they are entering a construction area. Manitoba should do the same, he suggested.
“If Manitoba is to become, as you put it in your recent five-year plan, ‘the safest place to work in North America,’ there is much more to be done in the area of road worker safety,” Rebeck concluded.
News from © Canadian Press Enterprises Inc., 2013
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