The head of an association representing roadside signallers in construction zones are repeating their calls for stiffer penalties for motorists who speed through construction zones.
Jean-François Dionne, the head of the Association des travailleurs en signalisation routière du Québec, says in 2014 alone, 15 people have suffered injuries as a result of contact with motorists. He says four signallers have been killed by motorists since 2010.
He says motorists need to learn to respect them, and the work they do.
"Motorists often lose a little bit of patience towards us when they come to construction zones," Dionne says. He points to incidents earlier this year where one signaller in Laval had one of his legs crushed by a motorist, and another recent incident in Gatineau where another signaller was also threatened by a motorist wielding a baseball bat.
He adds they're often the targets of abuse from frustrated motorists — having to deal with everything from verbal abuse to threats of physical violence.
Dionne is calling on transport ministry to double the fines for motorists who don't respect traffic signals in construction zones — from $133 to $270, and a loss of six demerit points, up from three.
And for those who hit motorists, Dionne says drivers should have their licenses suspended for a year, get handed a $1500 fine, and face possible jail time.