DCN ARCHIVES

February 7, 2006

ORBA

Photo radar needed: Willms

Higher fines useless without enforcement

The incoming president of the Ontario Road Builders’ Association (ORBA) is anxious to see photo radar introduced within contractors’ work zones.

“In recent years, we’ve been trying to slow down traffic,” says Terry Willms, general manager of Georgian Aggregates and Construction Inc. of Collingwood.

Terry Willms

“While the provincial government last summer passed a bill that doubled fines for traffic violations within these zones, these fines can’t be enforced.

“For one thing, it’s unsafe for the police to chase speeders through work zones. We believe that introduction of photo radar would allow the police to enforce the legislation. At the very least, such a campaign would raise public awareness of work-zone safety.”

Willms is poised to take over the ORBA helm later today during the association’s 79th annual convention. He succeeds Doug Leslie of K.J. Beamish Construction Co. Ltd. as head of the association, which has 102 contractor members and 85 associate members.

Willms, an ORBA director since 1988, said while hot-button issues arise from year-to-year that require the association’s immediate attention, employees’ health and safety must remain the ongoing top priority.

“We can’t let that slip.”

Willms, who launched his career in construction in 1988 after graduating from the University of Guelph with a bachelor of science degree in economics, said current hot issues include “exclusion” clauses, pavement warranties and area-term contracts.

“Area Term Contracts will be our big issue for 2006,” he said. “Whether they even go ahead is still a question, and if they do, how will they be packaged.”

Willms, who grew up on a farm outside of Guelph and got his feet wet operating heavy equipment as a teenager working for Capital Paving, a company in which his father was a partner, said his third priority is the annual worst municipal roads campaign.

He said that program, which is intended to promote greater municipal infrastructure funding, “directly” meets the needs of ORBA members who are not involved in Ministry of Transportation work.

The association’s contractor members build and maintain the majority of the provincial highway system and the province’s municipal roads and bridges.

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