Partners in Road Construction Safety

Partners in Road Construction Safety

May 16, 2012 10:53 ET

Partners in Road Construction Safety Marks 10 Year Anniversary

EDMONTON, ALBERTA--(Marketwire - May 16, 2012) - This month marks a very important milestone for Partners in Road Construction Safety (PIRCS). It's the 10th Anniversary for PIRCS' campaign, whose original partnership with public and private sector organizations was formed in 2003 to reduce collisions in road construction zones and improve driver attitudes towards road and utility workers.

Together with the Government of Alberta, PIRCS would like to remind motorists to be patient and drive safely through road construction sites on Alberta's highways this season. PIRCS is also reminding motorists of the recent distracted drivers legislation that went into effect on September 1, 2011. With this law now in effect, Heidi Harris-Jensen, Chair of Partners in Road Construction Safety hopes all drivers will practice safe driving habits, especially in construction zones. "In Alberta, the May Long Weekend signals the official start of our province's road construction season," says Harris Jensen. "We recognize that construction can cause delays and create frustration with motorists. It can also lead drivers to become distracted and take their focus off the road. For the safety of road and utility workers and motorists, we ask drivers to slow down through construction zones. We also urge motorists to respect the distracted drivers legislation and watch for workers or equipment as well as other hazards that could be on the road."

"Our latest statistics show an increase in construction zone collisions, which means we need to do better," said Ric McIver, Alberta Transportation Minister. "If we all slow down in construction zones and pay attention to the flag people and the warning signs, we can improve safety for workers and motorists alike." In 2005, speeding fines were doubled in construction zones when workers are present to encourage motorists to slow down and save lives, however casualties continue to increase.

2008 saw the highest numbers of fatalities in Alberta's construction zones with 1072 collisions resulting in 229 injuries and killing seven people. Although the number of fatalities has decreased since 2008, collision rates have increased. In 2010, 1263 collisions were recorded, which resulted in 173 casualties and three fatalities. The increase in collisions shows the ongoing need to spread the PIRCS' message. And with the continued influx of newcomers to Alberta, it is even more imperative to promote awareness and education of the importance of safety in Alberta's workplaces and construction zones.

The PIRCS website features road construction locations, safety tips and details of the initiative. Since its creation, PIRCS has spent approximately $3 million to promote construction zone safety through radio and television advertising, billboards and signage in construction zones, featuring the well-known "Don't RIP Through Construction Zones" slogan. This is an important investment, considering the province's population and traffic have both increased considerably since 2003.

PIRCS partners include Alberta Transportation, the Alberta Construction Safety Association, the City of Edmonton, the Alberta Roadbuilders and Heavy Construction Association, City of St. Albert, Strathcona County, EPCOR, Edmonton Police Service, and WorkSafe Alberta, an Alberta Human Services initiative.

Media inquiries and requests for interviews may be directed to Heidi Harris-Jensen.

Also in attendance:

The Honourable Ric McIver, Minister of Transportation County of Strathcona - Deputy Mayor Linton Delainey City of St. Albert - Deputy Mayor Malcolm Parker

Press materials can be viewed and downloaded from the following websites:

www.dont-rip.ca

www.arhca.ab.ca

www.transportation.alberta.ca

Follow us on Twitter for regular construction updates at http://twitter.com/#!/dontRIPab

Contact Information

  • Partners in Road Construction Safety
    Heidi Harris-Jensen
    Chair
    780-436-9860 or Cell: 780-918-5047