BC Forest Safety Council emphasizes need to share the road

The BC Forest Safety Council is urging extra caution on resource roads because of an overlap of silviculture activities and log harvesting activities.

Due to a late spring start, tree planters are still very active in the forests and loggers are starting their summer hauling season. This has led to an increase of traffic on the roads and a greater potential for accidents to occur.

The Council also warns resource road drivers to be aware of the arrival of tourists and other recreational users who will be using the roads more often in the coming months.

“In addition to the current challenge of having more drivers navigating the roads, there will be more drivers who are unfamiliar with the precautions needed to share the road with big trucks,” says MaryAnne Arcand, director of the Council’s Forestry TruckSafe and Northern Initiatives program. “If everyone remembers to observe the rules of the road and guide their actions accordingly, we should be able to save lives.”

The reminder comes in response to a tree planter being killed in Vanderhoof on May 1 after being ejected and pinned under a vehicle during a roll-over. The tree planter was not wearing a seat belt at the time of the incident. “This unfortunate accident has highlighted the need for us to remind all resource road users to expect the unexpected,” says Arcand.

Arcand says obeying nine simple rules of the roads will help to keep everyone safe this driving season:

• Wear your seatbelt!
• Loaded trucks have the right of way.
• Stay on your own side of the road.
• Observe posted speed limits. In the absence of a posted speed, the default on resource roads is 70 kilometres per hour.
• Obey all traffic control signs.
• Ensure you are tuned to the correct radio frequency at all times.
• Call your kilometres according to the rules of that specific road.
• Keep your headlights and taillights clean and on at all times.
• Do not pass a logging truck unless it gives you a signal that it’s safe to do so.

The nine rules are regulations from WorkSafeBC, the Motor Vehicle Act and the Forest and Range Act. Breaking any of the rules of the road is a ticketable offence.

John Betts, Executive Director of the Western Silvicultural Contractors Association, says the recent silviculture worker fatality is a reminder for everyone to use extra caution when on the roads, whether for work or pleasure. “We can never be too careful on those roads,” explains Betts. “If we can change one driving habit and save a life, then it’s worth it.”

To find out more information about the BC Forest Safety Council and its programs or initiatives, visit its web site at www.bcforestsafe.org.

Web Link: http://www.bcforestsafe.org/