SAFE Work Manitoba launched the 2018 SAFE Roads campaign today, with an emphasis on asking motorists to slow down around workers as construction season gets underway.
The theme of this year's campaign is "I Want to Make It Home, Too", and includes construction workers, emergency responders and others who work on or near roadways.
Chris Lorenc is the chair of the Safe Roads Committee and the president of the Manitoba Heavy Construction Association. He says this is an important message for Manitoba drivers.
"We're in the comfort of a conference room," Lorenc said at a news conference at the SAFE Work Manitoba offices today. "Imagine all of a sudden a truck rolling through here at 40 or 50 miles an hour and you have no notice of that or the person behind the wheel of that vehicle is distracted and not paying attention."
"Those are the realities that police, fire paramedic, utility, hydro construction workers, surveyors, tow truck operators and others face on a daily basis."
Lorenc says this is a message that is getting through to Manitoba drivers. He says polling shows more than 80 per cent of those surveyed have heard of the campaign and say it resonates with them.
"The number of tickets through construction zones has dropped off dramatically, so that's important," Lorenc said. "We want to make sure we continue the effort to reduce that level of tickets and avoid unfortunate accidents."
Infrastructure Minister Ron Schuler said road workers are entitled to a safe environment and that drivers can play an important role in ensuring their safety.
Winnipeg Mayor Brian Bowman commended SAFE Work Manitoba for putting this message out there.
"It is an important reminder that the roads are their workplace and I encourage all Winnipeg motorists to slow down and be aware when driving through a designated work area," Bowman said in a release.
SAFE Work Manitoba chief operating officer Jamie Hall said in a release that workplace incidents have devastating factors on workers, families and colleges.
"When we get behind the wheel, we can all play a role in ensuring our fellow Manitobans remain safe and healthy on the job."