Deliberate bumping of flag person highlights worker safety

A flag person working on the Trans-Canada Highway is bruised and shaken after an angry driver deliberately hit her on Wednesday.

Flagger Allison Morris of Salmon Arm works for Kamloops' Alliance Traffic Group

Flagger Allison Morris of Salmon Arm works for Kamloops' Alliance Traffic Group

A flag person working on the Trans-Canada Highway is bruised and shaken after an angry driver deliberately bumped her with his car on Wednesday.

The driver is now facing charges under the Motor Vehicle Act and police continue to investigate the matter.

“It appears the traffic control person had vehicles stopped to allow a dump truck to exit when they noted a male waiting to be waved through was on a cell phone. The male was advised that he would have to get off the cell phone before being allowed to pass,” says Sgt. Carlos Tettolowski, of the Salmon Arm RCMP.

Tettowlowski says male driver then moved forward slowly and bumped the traffic control person with his vehicle. The traffic control person moved back away from the vehicle and the driver again moved forward slowly and bumped the flag person again.

The owner of the traffic control firm, Alliance Traffic Group, says the incident is serious but reflects the underlying problem of a lack of respect and common courtesy from drivers towards flaggers.

“Our workers put their lives on the line, staring down semis and other vehicles and they are there not to cause people an inconvenience but to help protect their safety and the safety of everyone working or driving in the area,” says John Thuot, an Alliance Traffic Group owner.

Thuot says crews will be working along the Trans-Canada as the development for the SmartCentres and its associated highway improvements are constructed until at least October.

“Drivers need to be aware this will be impacting travel and treat the directions of flag people with respect.”

Thuot says the most recent incident with the flagger being bumped by a vehicle is one of the more serious, but not the first incident at this job site.

“People are frustrated, they lose patience and they take it out on the traffic control person — the very person who is out to protect them from harm. My workers have been sworn at, had things thrown out windows at them, it’s a really challenging site.”

Disobeying the directions of flag persons can also come with financial consequences. Flag people are given the same authority to direct traffic as police and there can be significant fines for non-compliance.

Thuot appeals to drivers to be calm.

“A smile goes a long way. It’s about basic kindness. These are people out there working in some pretty tough conditions and they are just trying to do their job.”

Just Posted

McGuire Lake will be on the route of a new Active Loop created around Salmon Arm’s downtown. (File photo)
You’re invited to try a new Active Loop around Salmon Arm’s downtown

Loop created by Downtown Salmon Arm covers about 4.5 kilometres and takes about an hour

Salmon Arm RCMP responded to three incidents involving women concerned for their own safety between June 13 and 17, 2021. (File photo)
Salmon Arm RCMP respond to concerns about women being watched, followed

In one of three incidents a woman was invited into a vehicle but declined

A pair of Alberta residents were arrested after police responded to a report of a woman who had allegedly been assaulted and confined against her will on June 20, 2021. (File photo)
Salmon Arm RCMP arrest 2 Albertans suspected in alleged assault, unlawful confinement

Firearm, stolen items seized including NHL hockey cards believed to be worth thousands

The Columbia Shuswap Regional District advises residents to check on regulations before installing or changing docks, buoys or swimming platforms. (CSRD image)
Stop before you install that dock, buoy or swim platform in a Shuswap lake

Columbia Shuswap Regional District advises residents to check first as regulations may apply

Gift from the Heart on June 26 offers no-cost dental hygiene to people who can’t otherwise afford it. First booked, first served. (File photo)
Day for no-cost dental hygiene treatment coming up in Salmon Arm

Smile People clinic takes part in Gift from the Heart, first booked, first served basis

The border crossing into the United States is seen during the COVID-19 pandemic in Lacolle, Que. on February 12, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Paul Chiasson
VIDEO: Border quarantine to soon lift for fully vaccinated Canadians

Eligible travellers must still take multiple COVID-19 tests

Chilliwack secondary school’s principal is apologizing after a quote equating graduation with the end of slavery in the U.S. was included in the 2020-2021 yearbook. (Screenshot from submitted SnapChat)
B.C. student’s yearbook quote equates grad to end of slavery; principal cites editing error

Black former student ‘disgusted’ as CSS principal apologizes for what is called an editing error

Skeena MLA Ellis Ross. (Photo by Peter Versteege)
BC Liberal leadership candidate condemns ‘senseless violence’ of Okanagan church fires

Skeena MLA Ellis Ross says reconciliation isn’t about revenge for past tragedies

A coroner’s inquest will be taking place at the Capitol Theatre in Port Alberni for the next week. (ELENA RARDON / ALBERNI VALLEY NEWS)
Teen B.C. mom who died following police custody recalled as ‘friend to many’

Police sent Jocelyn George to hospital after intoxication had gone ‘beyond the realm’ of normal detox

FILE - In this Nov. 29, 2020, file photo, Las Vegas Raiders defensive end Carl Nassib leaves the field after an NFL football game against the Atlanta Falcons in Atlanta. Nassib on Monday, June 21, 2021, became the first active NFL player to come out as gay. Nassib announced the news on Instagram, saying he was not doing it for the attention but because “I just think that representation and visibility are so important.” (AP Photo/John Bazemore, File)
Nassib becomes first active NFL player to come out as gay

More than a dozen NFL players have come out as gay after their careers were over

Photograph By MICHAEL POTESTIO.KTW
Former Kamloops security gaurd wants job back after kicking incident caught on video

Rick Eldridge quit when a video surfaced of him kicking a man outside a facility for homeless

People participated in a walk to honour the 215 children found at a former Kamloops residential school, as well as residential school survivors. (Twila Amato/Black Press Media)
Kelowna marks National Indigenous Peoples’ Day with walk to remember Kamloops 215

“Let’s speak the truth and deal with the truth, and heal.”

COVID-19 daily cases reported to B.C. public health, seven-day moving average to June 17, 2021. (B.C. Centre for Disease Control)
B.C.’s COVID-19 infections drop to 90 on Sunday, 45 Monday

Pandemic spread dwindles as 77% of adults receive vaccine

(Black Press file photo)
EDITORIAL: Curtailing attempts at scams

The true total of losses from all scams and frauds could be much higher than the figures on file

Most Read