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Campaign kicks off for safer roads

The annual SAFE Roads campaign, a joint initiative to raise awareness of the safety of workers on Manitoba’s roads, kicked off today with an event at Brandon City Hall.

The campaign is targeted at motorists across the province, reminding them to slow down when driving past road construction projects and when sharing the road with emergency workers such as firefighters, hydro workers, paramedics and police officers.

Infrastructure work planned for Manitoba highways this year means another busy construction season and means more workers on roadways throughout the summer months.

"It’s important for people to realize that their actions can have a significant impact on another person’s workplace," said Brandon mayor Shari Decter Hirst. "We need to understand that making workplaces safe for everyone is a responsibility that we all share."

The campaign includes billboard ads to encourage speeding motorists to slow down and raise awareness of Manitoba’s roads as a workplace. The ads feature the message "This is my workplace. Slow down."

"The SAFE Roads program is essential to helping increase safety and health awareness for construction, city and emergency workers," said Dan Robertson, director of the Brandon regional office of the Worker's Compensation Board. "It helps ensure a safe workplace for all Manitobans, and we want to make sure everyone makes it home safely after work."

The SAFE Roads Committee has led the campaign over several years, increasing awareness of safe driving during construction season.

"Most people think of workplaces as having four walls and a roof, but for many Manitobans, the road is their workplace," said city of Brandon safety coordinator Greg Brown, who is a member of the SAFE Roads committee. "Motorists need to remember to follow signs, reduce their speed, and pay special attention in construction zones."

The Highway Traffic Act supports the SAFE Roads campaign by setting additional penalties for failing to slow down in construction zones. Offenders caught speeding will have an additional five dollars added to the base fine for every kilometer recorded over the speed limit.

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