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Increase in close calls between cars and County mowing crews

Speeding and dangerous driving have caused an increase in the number of close calls between cars and mowing crews in the County of Grande Prairie. Agricultural Fieldman Sonja Raven says that the number of incidents has increased since last year.

“What we’ve really noticed this year is a real increase in really dangerous and inconsiderate driving. People are rushing up to close to the mower where they can easily get hit by flying debris or anything that does come out from under the mower. They’re passing illegally, they’re passing too fast, they’re cutting in too close. Just a real lack of respect for machinery that’s operating on the road.”

Raven says that last year she used to only have one close call a week but this year crews are experiencing about three a week.

“I had one driver that had three in one day, two the next day, then he was good for a day and then he had another one the following day and that’s just one driver, I’ve got 4… Sooner or later someone is gonna get hurt and I don’t want it to be a member of the public or a member of my staff.”

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The County has always had signs on their equipment warning drivers to stay back but now they have also installed dash cams in all of their mowers as a way to document any incidents that may occur.

Raven wants to remind people that if they do approach a mower or any other worker on the side of the road that they should take their time and only pass if it’s safe.

“I’m worried for my operators. They should be able to go out and do their jobs safely and I’d just really like to ask people to slow down, use your head and have some respect and courtesy for the people who are out there on the roads with you… Pass when it’s safe to do so, keep your distance and give them enough room when you’re pulling in.”

Mowing crews will be working along roads and ditches throughout the County for the duration of the warmer months.

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