We’ve all seen the signs, the ones that say that fines for speeding in work zones double.
But do they really mean what they say?
According to the BC Flaggers Association, the signs say one thing but the government is saying another.
The flaggers say the government is breaking a promise, but the BC Liberals say current fine structure is putting the brakes on speeders.
The organization says it’s been informed by the government this week that double fines for speeding in construction zones will not be going ahead.
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Shirley Tary from Kelowna has been a flagger for nearly 20 years. She says news that the government won’t live up to its promise on doubling the fines is a let down.
“Disappointing, actually because no one seems to be paying attention to the rules of the road when it comes through construction sites and they don’t listen to us and I would assume they would do something.”
Under current regulations, the fine for speeding in a construction zone jumps by 42 per cent to $196, which is a long way from double the fine.
So why do the signs categorically say that traffic fines double in work zones? According to the BC government, those signs date back to the 1990’s when the maximum fine would top out at $300, but since then the government has moved to graduated fines.
BC’s Transportation Minister, Todd Stone, says under the graduated system construction zone speeders are facing much higher penalties depending on how fast they’re going.
“I know that the flaggers association has asked for government to consider doubling the fines. I believe doubling the fines on what they used to be, which at the high end was $150, so doubling would take it to $300 automatically. Again, at the discretion of law enforcement, the way the structure works today, the fine can be considerably higher than 300 dollars. It can be as high as $483. So, we think that there’s a good balance there today.”
Minister Stone says he’s invited the BC Flaggers Association to Victoria to see if any further changes are required. But flagger Shirley Tary says the government’s broken promise is sending the wrong message to speeders.
“That they can do anything they want and that it doesn’t matter about our lives. It’s whatever is important to them that counts. Not us.”