Drivers warned to slow down in construction zones

Moncton-area drivers are being warned to slow down and put down their cellphones when they approach construction sites.

Moncton official says workers have had 'close calls' with distracted drivers

Drivers are being asked to slow down in construction zones around New Brunswick. (CBC)

Moncton-area drivers are being warned to slow down and put down their cellphones when they approach construction sites.

Crews are busy finishing off construction projects around the city, including John Street and Berry Mills Road.

Gerry Doucett, the health and safety co-ordinator for the City of Moncton, said some people are failing to slow down when they enter these construction zones.

Those inattentive drivers are causing safety concerns for flaggers and other road construction workers.

"The signs are very well marked. It tells them to move over to the left, move over to the right," he said.

"But you just get some people that are preoccupied. The big one is cellphone use, texting on the phone. I see a lot of it every, every day."

There have been a number of situations where distracted drivers were getting too close to workers or construction equipment.

"We've had a couple of close calls, thank goodness nothing too major. Little ones you know where the cars bumped the flagger's sign or the barricade or something like that, nothing serious yet this year," Doucett said.

He said the road construction projects in Moncton are expected to wrap up at the end of September or the beginning of October.

Financial penalties

Drivers caught speeding in a construction zone can have their fines doubled.

Meanwhile, New Brunswick's distracted driving law, which prohibits drivers from texting or talking on the phone when they drive, came into force in 2011.

Drivers caught breaking the law will lose three points off their licence and receive a fine of $172.50.

The province’s transportation minister is also reminding motorists to slow down as they approach construction sites around New Brunswick.

"I think maybe we should remind more and more motorists to be vigilant so I don't know if we need to have more campaigns or more messages," said Transportation Minister Claude Williams.

young New Brunswick woman was killed last year while working on a road construction crew in Saskatchewan. The driver will stand trial for criminal negligence causing death and dangerous driving causing death.

The Department of Transportation said in 2012 that about 25 per cent of New Brunswick drivers have admitted to speeding through construction zones.

Between January and August 2012, the RCMP issued 75 speeding tickets in road construction zones.