New legislation in Manitoba would protect workers in construction zones

Proposed amendments to Manitoba's Highway Traffic Act would double the speeding fines for drivers who speed through construction zones, said Labour and Immigration Minister Erna Braun, who introduced the legislation Nov. 15.
While clarifying the financial penalty for speeding in a construction zone, the proposals would also allow for clear signage indicating when reduced limits are in effect, what they are and when they end.

“When you enter a construction zone, you are entering someone’s workplace. We want to ensure the safety and protection of construction workers,” said the minister. “In addition to this important legislation, Manitoba Workplace Safety and Health will be stepping up enforcement measures to ensure that worker safety standards are maintained at the highest level during construction.”

The proposed legislation would also enable the creation of regulations that would:

• establish strong requirements for traffic safety management in construction zones
• require the use of specified traffic control devices such as barriers, rumble strips and speed readers as appropriate in construction zones.

“We are going to have a lot more workers on the roads over the next five years as we meet our commitments to build infrastructure vital to economic growth,” said Infrastructure and Transportation Minister Steve Ashton. “These women and men deserve a safe workplace as they help to build our province for the future.”

“With these changes, drivers, workers and employers will know what’s expected of them to ensure everyone is safe and does the right thing,” said Kevin Rebeck, president, Manitoba Federation of Labour.

This legislation would be a further step in Manitoba’s recent efforts to protect those most vulnerable on the province’s roads, the infrastructure minister noted, adding this includes the introduction of legislation to reduce speed limits when passing emergency workers and allowing municipalities to set reduced speed limits in school zones.