This is the time of year when our roadways are a busy place, and we are urged to be extra patient and to plan for our travels.
Chris Lorenc, President and CEO of Manitoba Heavy Construction Association, says there are many construction crews working on our highways throughout the province.
“We also know that in the farming community, the ag. sector is going to be obviously busier, moving equipment on highways, getting ready for their growing season,” he notes.
And these are activities that should come as no surprise to any driver, Lorenc says, adding that patience is a virtue, and “patience is part of being safe.”
“It's important for us to get to where we wish to go, but it's more important to ensure that those who are working in a public right of way, who are performing a benefit of service, they're rebuilding our province or they're helping somebody out in distress, they are in their workplace, they're not in our way,” Lorenc says. “Slow down, let's be respectful of that. Let them get their work done. And if we know that there's construction underway then just find either a different route or leave a few minutes early. And if you're surprised by construction en route, just take a deep breath. It's not the end of the world if you're going to be late a few minutes.”
Although we are experiencing a lot more daylight hours than in the winter, there are still many hours of nighttime driving and driving in darker daytime conditions. Lorenc says it is important to make sure that we have appropriate lights on our vehicles, using them in darker conditions such as cloudy days.
“We should only be operating vehicles that are compliant with the Highway Traffic Act legislation and regulations,” he says. “So, that includes ensuring that your headlights are functional, that they're aligned. And when you are driving in darker conditions, that does require extra caution and vigilance, because what you see is not as clear as what you might see if you were driving in the clear part of the day.”
Meanwhile, Lorenc notes that many motorists are respectful and practice safe driving, something he really appreciates.
“We do want to thank the vast majority of Manitobans who, with their driving habits, do respect that the people that are working in public rights of way are not in anybody's way,” he says.
Lorenc says that by understanding that we as motorists are traveling through their workspace and slowing down, it helps to ensure that crews get home safely.
“Whether it's a person on a farm implement, or a construction worker in a construction zone, or an emergency services personnel helping somebody out, they're not in our way,” he says. “They're doing their jobs and we need to respect that.”