The Editor’s Desk: Surviving the Cone Zone

There’s construction ahead on B.C.’s highways. Here’s how to survive it (more or less).

Gas prices are soaring, campers and RVs have come out of hibernation, and bright orange pylons are sprouting up along the province’s highways. Welcome to summer driving season!

Regarding those pylons: contrary to the apparent view of some drivers, they aren’t put there for decoration. They generally indicate that a construction zone is imminent, and since a significant number of drivers seem confused about what is required of them, here’s a short guide.

Construction ahead. Really, we mean it. Signs warning of a construction zone ahead are usually placed some distance before the actual start of said zone, to give drivers time to prepare. Unfortunately, since the construction often cannot be seen when the first warning sign comes into view, many drivers treat it as a mirage. These are the people who, when confronted by the construction zone itself, seem to be taken by surprise, and slam on their brakes in an attempt to see how long it takes their vehicle to go from travelling 110 km/hr to zero km/hr. Don’t be that person. The driver ahead of you, watching your approach in his or her rear-view mirror, doesn’t need the stress of wondering if you’ll stop in time.

Do the wave. I always wave at flagpersons, because they’re doing a thankless job: standing outside with no relief in all weathers as they control traffic. If you think “cushy job” as you drive past, ask yourself: how would you like it if your job involved standing in one spot, with no protection other than a vest and a hardhat, while tubes of metal weighing thousands of pounds whiz past within feet of you (not to mention the drivers who think lobbing a beer can at you, flipping you the bird, or swearing at you is completely justified).

I’d like to compliment you on your work. Let me know when you’re going to start. Please, no lame jokes about “Construction zone? More like relaxation zone, amirite?” Drivers always fixate on the three people not obviously engaged in work, ignoring the dozens who are, not to mention all those vehicles trundling around (hint: they’re not driving themselves, at least not yet). Unless you know for a fact those three people are discussing last night’s hockey game/Simpsons episode/the likelihood of South and North Korean unification, and you yourself have never, ever, not once done something other than what you’re being paid to do during scheduled work hours, pipe down.

No multitasking. Being caught up in a slow- or non-moving train of traffic is not an invitation to drivers to pull out your phone and check on emails, fire off a few texts, or pick up where you left off on that game of mah jong. Stay alert.

Back off. As a driver who respects reduced speed limits in construction zones, I’d appreciate it if you’d stop trying to get inside the trunk of my vehicle. Getting within centimetres of my tailpipe is not going to make me go any faster, or get you to your destination any sooner, but it will raise blood pressures all around, and none of us need that.

Remember: all those construction zones will help make our roads safer and more comfortable. No pain, no gain. That may be little consolation when you’re stuck in one, but it might make things a little more bearable; at least until you hit the next construction zone.

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Just Posted

$9.2 million in federal funding announced for Ashcroft Terminal

MLA calls announcement a game changer for the region

Local doctor says he has no plans to leave the community

Dr. Amgad Zake says he’s settled in after more than two years at the Ashcroft clinic.

Ashcroft student wins writing award for powerful poem

Vivian McLean’s ‘A Poem for Chocolate’ takes top prize at Kamloops young authors event.

Lace up your shoes for the eighth annual Skip’s Run

A pledge challenge is a new feature for this year’s event.

Local News Briefs: Area museums now open

Plus free workshops, a tourism symposium, a community fan-out trial, and more.

VIDEO: After the floods, comes the cleanup as Grand Forks rebuilds

Business owners in downtown wonder how long it will take for things to go back to normal

B.C. man facing deportation says terror accusation left him traumatized

Othman Hamdan was acquitted of terrorism-related charges by a B.C. Supreme Court judge in September

Woman’s death near Tofino prompts warning about ‘unpredictable’ ocean

Ann Wittenberg was visiting Tofino for her daughter Victoria Emon’s wedding

Will Taylor Swift’s high concert ticket prices stop scalpers?

Move by artist comes as B.C. looks to how to regulate scalpers and bots reselling concert tickets

36 fires sparked May long weekend, most due to lightning: BC Wildfire

As warmer weather nears, chief fire officer Kevin Skrepnek says too soon to forecast summer

Ariana Grande sends message of hope on anniversary of Manchester bombing

Prince William joins survivors and emergency workers for remembrance service

Cariboo business supplies security ATVs for 44th G7 Summit

Spectra Power Sports Ltd. of Williams Lake supplying security vehicles for G7 Summit

B.C. flood risk switches from snowmelt to rainfall: River Forecast Centre

Kootenays and Fraser River remain serious concerns

Pipeline more important than premiers meeting: Notley

“Canada has to work for all Canadians, that’s why we’re fighting for the pipeline”

Most Read