Construction season is officially here and safe driving in work zones is the focus of July’s Traffic Safety Spotlight.
There’s no other way to say it: Fines for speeding in construction zones with workers present are super expensive. And the faster you go, the more you are going to pay.
Exceeding the speed limit by 20 km/h will cost you $440. If you are going 40 km/h over the limit, that’s going to cost you $1,008! Plus you will lose Safe Driver Recognition points on your licence, which can lead to further financial penalties.
“Speeding through work zones is a safety concern,” said Penny McCune, Chief Operating Officer of the Auto Fund. “It puts workers at risk, so fines are significant. Police will be paying close attention to vehicles travelling through work zones, and photo speed enforcement cameras will also be set up in some highway construction zones to catch speeders. Watch your speed in orange zones. It may save a life and it may save you from a hefty fine.”
Last year, there were 1,230 convictions for speeding in work zones. Generally, speed limits in work zones are 60 km/h but they may be lower or a bit higher, depending on the logistics or type of work being done. Obey the signs.
Why is it so important to watch your speed in a work zone? Because people work there, and we need to keep them safe.
Speeding significantly increases a vehicle’s stopping distance. As your speed doubles, your stopping distance increases four times. If your speed triples, your stopping distance increases a whopping nine times. Imagine what this could mean if you were speeding in a work zone and suddenly a worker stepped out onto the road ahead of you. You’d slam on the brakes – but you probably wouldn’t stop in time.
“Traffic safety remains a priority for Saskatchewan RCMP, and we urge drivers to follow all posted speed limits,” notes Staff Sergeant Mark Flodell of Saskatchewan RCMP Traffic Services. “It is extremely important for drivers to follow work zone speed limits, as there are both people and machinery in very close proximity to moving traffic.”
By reducing your speed, you give yourself more time to react to avoid a potential collision. It can mean the difference between a close call, and something much worse.
Drivers must slow to the posted speed limits in work zones – regardless of whether workers are present or not. Work zones tend to be more congested due to lane reductions, and there can be safety hazards like sharp pavement drops, loose stones, or completed road work that needs time to dry and could be slippery at high speeds.
Last year, there were 203 collisions in work zones around the province, resulting in 67 injuries.
Slow down. Be patient. Check the Highway Hotline before you leave for your destination and give yourself plenty of time to get there.
Drivers can follow these tips to keep our highways safe:
- Expect the unexpected in work zones. Slow down and remain alert.
- Be patient. Expect delays. Plan your trip in advance and leave early.
- Leave extra following distance between you and the vehicle in front of you.
- Obey posted signs. Just because you don’t see workers immediately, doesn’t mean they aren’t there.
- When a lane is closed in a work zone, embrace the zipper merge. It makes traffic flow more quickly and efficiently.
Manager, Media Relations