Drivers

Construction work zones are a common sight on public roadways, but they can pose challenges for drivers. Navigating these areas safely requires awareness and understanding of the signs and signals used to identify them.

How To Recognize The Signs of a Work Zone:

Orange Cones, Barrels & Delineators: These are often used to delineate the boundaries of a work zone. They may be placed along the edges of the roadway or used to create a temporary lane shift.

Flashing Lights: Work zones are frequently marked with flashing lights to alert drivers to the presence of construction activity ahead. These lights may be mounted on vehicles, equipment, or temporary signs.

Temporary Traffic Signs: Look for temporary signs indicating upcoming roadwork. These signs typically feature orange or yellow backgrounds and provide information about lane closures, detours, and speed limits within the work zone.

What You Need To Know About Construction Zones!

1. Understanding Work Zone Configurations:

Lane Closures: One of the most common features of work zones is lane closures. This may involve the closure of one or more lanes, often accompanied by signs indicating which lanes are open to traffic.

Lane Diversion: In some cases, lanes may be shifted to accommodate construction activity. Pay attention to temporary markings and signage indicating the new lane configuration.

Detour: Where work activities dictate, or where it is deemed high risk for work crews, traffic may be required to depart completely from the original roadway and follow another road to bypass a work area.  Detour signage will direct traffic to the alternate route and then back onto the original roadway to an area beyond the work activity.

Reduced Speed Limits: Work zones often have reduced speed limits to ensure the safety of both workers and drivers. Be prepared to slow down when approaching a work zone and obey posted speed limit signs.

2. Following Traffic Control Devices:

Traffic Control Persons (TCPs): Traffic Control Persons (TCPs) are workers stationed at construction sites to direct traffic. Follow their instructions carefully and be prepared to stop or yield as directed.

Traffic Signals: Some work zones may be equipped with temporary traffic signals to regulate the flow of vehicles. Pay attention to these signals and obey them as you would any other traffic light.

3. Staying Alert and Focused:

Expect the Unexpected: Construction work zones can be unpredictable, with sudden lane closures, changes in traffic patterns, and unexpected obstacles. Stay alert and be prepared to react quickly to changing conditions.

Minimize Distractions: Avoid distractions such as using your phone or adjusting the radio when driving through a work zone. Keep your focus on the road and be ready to respond to any hazards that may arise.

5. Being Patient and Courteous:

Plan Ahead: If possible, plan your route in advance to avoid construction work zones. Check for roadwork updates and consider alternative routes to minimize delays.  For free up to the minute traffic and transit information for Newfoundland and Labrador, visit 511 Newfoundland and Labrador or download the 511 app on Google Play or the App Store!

Be Patient: Construction work is necessary to maintain and improve our roadways, but it can be inconvenient for drivers. Practice patience and allow extra time for your journey when traveling through work zones.

By understanding the signs and signals used to identify construction work zones and following these guidelines, you can help ensure the safety of yourself, construction workers, and fellow drivers on the road. Remember to stay alert, obey posted signs and speed limits, and be prepared for changing conditions as you navigate through these areas. Safe travels!

In construction zones, traffic congestion and lane closures can lead to frustration and delays for drivers. However, employing the zipper merge technique can help alleviate these issues while promoting both efficiency and safety on the road.

Why Zipper Merge?

Maximize Road Capacity: Zipper merging allows for the full utilization of all available lanes, maximizing road capacity and reducing congestion. By merging at the point of closure, traffic flow remains smoother, and delays are minimized.

Reduce Frustration: Traditional merging practices, such as early merging, can lead to bottlenecking and frustration among drivers. Zipper merging promotes a fair and orderly approach, reducing tension and promoting a more positive driving experience.

Enhance Safety: By encouraging a uniform flow of traffic and minimizing sudden lane changes, zipper merging enhances safety for both drivers and construction workers. It reduces the risk of accidents and ensures a safer environment in construction zones.

How to Zipper Merge:

1. Stay Informed: Pay attention to signage and road markings indicating upcoming lane closures or merge points. Being aware of construction zones ahead allows you to prepare for a zipper merge in advance.

2. Maintain Speed: As you approach the merge point, maintain a safe and consistent speed. Avoid braking suddenly or changing lanes aggressively, as this can disrupt the flow of traffic and increase the risk of accidents.

3. Alternate Merge: When merging, follow the “zipper” principle by taking turns with vehicles from the adjacent lane. Allow one vehicle to merge from each lane in an alternating fashion, creating a smooth and efficient flow of traffic.

4. Be Patient and Courteous: Practice patience and courtesy when zipper merging. Allow ample space for merging vehicles and avoid blocking other drivers from merging. Remember that cooperation and consideration benefit everyone on the road.

5. Stay Alert: Remain vigilant and attentive to your surroundings while zipper merging. Keep an eye out for merging vehicles, construction equipment, and changing road conditions to ensure a safe and seamless merge.

Conclusion:

Zipper merging is a simple yet effective technique for improving traffic flow and enhancing safety in construction zones. By understanding the benefits of zipper merging and following the proper procedures, drivers can contribute to a more efficient and harmonious driving experience for themselves and others on the road. Let’s work together to zipper merge responsibly and make construction zones safer for everyone.

In Newfoundland and Labrador, speeding fines in construction zones are taken seriously to ensure the safety of both workers and motorists. Speeding through these areas not only endangers lives but also violates traffic laws designed to protect everyone on the road. It’s important to understand the consequences of speeding in construction zones to avoid costly fines and potential harm.

Fines and Penalties:

In Newfoundland and Labrador, fines for speeding in construction zones are significantly higher than those for regular speeding violations. The fines are structured to deter reckless behavior and prioritize safety in areas where construction work is ongoing.

For instance, if you are caught speeding in a construction zone, you can expect to face fines ranging from $100 to $900, depending on the speed of the vehicle over the posted limit and whether or not there is a history of previous offenses.  These fines are in addition to any other penalties or demerit points associated with the speeding violation. A detailed list of fines can be found under the Newfoundland and Labrador Highway Traffic Act.

Double Fines Zone:

It’s essential to note that Newfoundland and Labrador operates under a “double fines zone” policy in construction areas. This means that fines for speeding violations are doubled when workers are present. The goal is to provide an added layer of protection for construction workers who are often exposed to traffic hazards while performing their duties.

For example, if the regular fine for speeding in a construction zone is $200, it would be doubled to $400 if workers are present at the time of the violation. This policy underscores the importance of exercising caution and obeying posted speed limits in construction zones, especially when workers are present.

Points and License Suspension:

In addition to fines, speeding in construction zones can result in demerit points being added to your driving record. Accumulating demerit points can lead to license suspension, impacting your ability to drive legally in Newfoundland and Labrador.

Depending on the speed at which you are caught driving in a construction zone, you may also face more severe penalties, including license suspension and vehicle impoundment. These consequences highlight the serious nature of speeding in areas where construction work is taking place.

Stay Informed, Drive Safely:

To avoid fines and penalties associated with speeding in construction zones, it’s crucial to stay informed about posted speed limits and exercise caution when driving through these areas. Pay attention to signage indicating construction zones and reduce your speed accordingly.

By obeying posted speed limits, staying alert, and driving defensively, you can help ensure the safety of yourself, construction workers, and fellow motorists on the road. Let’s work together to make our roadways safer for everyone.

The Move Over Law in Newfoundland and Labrador is a critical measure designed to protect roadside workers, emergency responders, and law enforcement personnel. This law requires drivers to move over and slow down when approaching stopped emergency vehicles and tow trucks with flashing lights, providing a safer environment for those working on our roadways. Understanding and adhering to the Move Over Law is essential for promoting safety and preventing accidents on public roadways.

Key Elements of the Move Over Law:

1. Move Over Requirement: When approaching an emergency vehicle, tow truck, or other authorized vehicle stopped on the side of the road with its flashing lights activated, drivers are required to move over to the next available lane if it is safe to do so. This applies to both multi-lane and single-lane roadways.

2. Reduce Speed: If it’s not possible to move over due to traffic conditions or road layout, drivers must reduce their speed to 30km/hr below the posted speed limit. For example, if the posted speed limit is 100km/hr, drivers must reduce their speed to 70km/hr.  Slowing down allows for increased awareness and provides a buffer zone for roadside workers.

3. Increased Penalties: Failure to comply with the Move Over Law can result in significant fines and penalties. In Newfoundland and Labrador, drivers who violate the Move Over Law may face fines ranging from $300 to $900 and accumulate demerit points on their driving record.

Importance of the Move Over Law:

Protecting Roadside Workers: Roadside workers, including emergency responders, tow truck operators, and maintenance personnel, face significant risks while performing their duties on the side of the road. The Move Over Law helps minimize these risks by creating a safer working environment and reducing the likelihood of accidents and injuries.

Promoting Awareness: By raising awareness of the Move Over Law among drivers, we can foster a culture of safety on our roadways. Understanding the importance of yielding to stopped emergency vehicles and roadside workers encourages responsible driving behavior and helps prevent unnecessary accidents.

Ensuring Compliance: To ensure compliance with the Move Over Law, it’s essential for drivers to stay informed about traffic laws and regulations. Familiarize yourself with the requirements of the Move Over Law and always be prepared to react appropriately when approaching stopped emergency vehicles and roadside workers.

Conclusion:

The Move Over Law in Newfoundland and Labrador plays a crucial role in safeguarding roadside workers and promoting safer driving practices on public roadways. By moving over and slowing down when approaching stopped emergency vehicles and authorized vehicles with flashing lights, drivers can help prevent accidents and protect those who work tirelessly to keep our roads safe. Let’s all do our part to prioritize safety and uphold the principles of the Move Over Law.

Get Up To The Minute Traffic Updates with 511!

What It’s Like for People Who Work by the Roadside

What It’s Like For People Who Work By The Roadside

Why Slowing Down For Emergency Responders Is Essential

How Your Driving Impacts Road Workers (And You)

My Mommy Works Here: Christy’s Story

My Daddy Works Here: Mitchell’s Story

How Roadside Workers Want You To Drive In A Work Zone

Construction Zone Signage

Click the sign for a detailed explanation.

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Disclaimer: The materials above are provided to assist organizations with the development of their Occupational Health and Safety Program.  Companies should review and update materials to reflect their unique operations. The information presented is intended for general use and may not apply to every circumstance. It is not a definitive guide to government regulations and does not relieve persons using this information from their responsibilities under applicable legislation. The NLCSA does not guarantee the accuracy of, nor assume liability for, the information presented here.