Victoria lane closure technician Kathleen LeBleu said she is no stranger to abuse on the job. (Courtesy of Kathleen LeBleu)

Victoria flagger rammed twice by man on mobility scooter

Lane closure technician said she’s no stranger to on-the-job abuse

A Victoria woman says she was rammed twice by a man on a mobility scooter after telling him he couldn’t pass through a construction zone on Friday.

Kathleen LeBleu has been a lane closure technician for three years and says she’s no stranger to the animosity of pedestrians and motorists. But on March 1, one man’s rage bubbled over into violence.

LeBleu is posted at a construction zone at Johnson Street and Vancouver Street, where a ‘bump over’ has been created to push traffic to the side and out of the way of construction workers and machinery.

She says the man had driven his mobility scooter about five feet past the ‘closed lane sign’ when she asked him to go back to the crosswalk and use the other side of the road.

RELATED: Flagger stuck in Saanich roadway

RELATED: Traffic delay coming down the pipe for Dallas Road

When LeBleu told him he couldn’t pass through the closed lane, he argued with her and eventually drove into the side of her leg.

She says that when she didn’t move, he reversed his scooter and drove into her again, luckily only driving over her steel-toed boot.

LeBleu spoke with police, but says she was unable to proceed without any way to identify the man. She filed an incident report with her Victoria-based traffic control company.

In a Facebook post of a photo of her bruises, LeBleu said they were caused by “ignorance.”

“Everyone is in a rush to get to where they’re going,” she told Black Press Media. “They don’t care. They have this tunnel vision…when people get this tunnel vision they don’t see anything on the road…They’re like, ‘This is the way I go every day, I’m going this way.’”

RELATED: RCMP invesigate after flagger hit by beer can

RELATED: UPDATED: Motorists urged to slwo down after a flagger was struck on Sooke Road

LeBleu can’t physically force people not to travel through construction zones, but says many approach her with a “sense of entitlement.”

She said once they’ve ignored her directions, she has to communicate with the crews and shut down all construction until the person is through the zone.

“Once you’ve ignored the sign and ignored me, you are now responsible for your own safety.”

It’s one thing to be hit by a scooter, but LeBleu said safety is a constant concern for herself and many of other flaggers who direct traffic. She says many leave the job because they find it too dangerous.

“If you don’t have people out here doing my job, you don’t get new things in town. You don’t get new roads, you don’t get new bike lanes, you don’t get new high rise buildings, because there’s nobody to deal with the traffic.”



nina.grossman@blackpress.ca

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

 

Lane closure technician Kathleen LeBleu says she was hit twice by a man on a mobility scooter when she asked him not to go through a construction zone. (Kathleen LeBleu/Facebook)

Just Posted

High-profile Port Alberni murders are the centre of new true crime book

Retired journalist Shayne Morrow pairs historic murders with the science that solved them

Canadiana complete when Murray McLauchlan’s in the house

Legendary singer/songwriter brings his folksy talents to the McPherson on June 13

So, they found ‘Dave from Vancouver Island’

Dave Tryon, now 72, will reunite with long-ago travelling friends in Monterey, Calif.

COLUMN: Motoring along sure to be different with changes to cars, infrastructure

Younger generation seems intent on creating a more efficient planet

Vancouver Islander pens Mourning Has Broken following death of her daughter

Book by radio host Erin Davis gives advice to others struggling with grief

VIDEO: Canadian breaks women’s world record for longest plank

Dana Glowacka, of Montreal, held a plank for four hours and 20 minutes

Kamloops girl, 9, recovering from carbon monoxide poisoning now out of ICU

Her mother who was sleeping in the same tent with her did not survive

‘I think he’s still alive’: B.C. mom pleads for help finding son last seen a month ago

Family offering $5,000 reward for information leading to the safe return of Tim Delahaye

New poll suggests one-third don’t want politicians to wear religious symbols

Local politicians shouldn’t be allowed to wear hijabs, crucifixes or turbans on the job, survey suggests

Raptors fans far from home adjust plans to watch pivotal playoff game

Raptors currently lead the playoff series 3-2, and a win Saturday would vault them into NBA finals

PHOTOS: First responders in Fernie rescue baby owl who fell from nest

The baby owl’s inability to fly back to its nest prompted a rescue by first responders

Five takeaways from the Court of Appeal ruling on B.C.’s pipeline law

It’s unclear how many tools are left in B.C.’s toolbox to fight the project

Pacific Rim National Park Reserve investigating after sea lion found shot in the head

Animal is believed to have been killed somewhere between Ucluelet and Tofino

Most Read