Alberta proposes changes to better protect emergency staff, roadside workers

Alberta is proposing to change laws to better protect those who work near traffic.

Drivers must already slow down to at least 60 kilometers an hour when passing a tow truck or emergency worker.

Transportation Minister Rajan Sawhney has introduced legislation that would require drivers to slow down not just for those workers, but for all roadside maintenance staff and snowplow operators.

Also, drivers going the opposite direction past these workers would also be required to slow down.

The bill follows consultations and statistics that show in the last three years there have been 128 collisions involving snowplows.

Sawhney says if the bill passes, there will be a public education campaign on the new rules with the changes coming into force in the spring of 2023.

“People who work on or near roads have a higher risk of being injured or killed as a result of passing vehicles,” Sawhney told the house Wednesday as she introduced Bill 5.

“These new requirements will apply to any stopped commercial vehicle that is permitted to have flashing lights, such as emergency vehicles, roadside workers, snowplows and others.”

This report by The Canadian Press was first published March 16, 2022.

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