SGI has a simple message for drivers: if you see orange, slow down or expect to pay up.
The provincial insurance company’s Traffic Safety Focus for July is on safe driving in work zones.
Police across Saskatchewan will be keeping an eye out for drivers who go beyond the 60 kilometre an hour limit in construction zones.
RCMP Constable J-L Leblanc says while out on patrol, he’s seen people not only speeding but driving distracted.
“I’ve seen people on their cell phones, I’ve seen girls put makeup on, I’ve seen semi (drivers) using their knees and eating food while they’re driving through a construction zone; I’ve seen lots.” Leblanc said.
Last year, there were 1-thousand 230 convictions for speeding in work zones. Fines range from $440 dollars for going 20 km/h over the speed limit, to $1,008 dollars going 40 km/h past the limit.
The offending driver will also lose Safe Driver Recognition points on their licence, which can lead to further financial penalties.
Emphasis on Highway Worker Safety
President of the Saskatchewan Heavy Construction Association Shantel Lipp says stories of workers having close encounters with speeders are heard on a regular basis.
“There isn’t a day that goes by that one of our workers hasn’t encountered some sort of a hazard,” Lipp noted. “Whether its somebody driving too fast, passing when they’re not supposed to be passing, some people will blow right past a flagger within a work zone because they are in a hurry to get to where they want to go.”
In 2017, there were 203 collisions in work zones province-wide, resulting in 67 injuries.
“Speeding significantly increases a vehicle’s stopping distance,” SGI states in a news release.”As your speed doubles, your stopping distance increases four times. If your speed triples, your stopping distance increases a whopping nine times.”
Tom Lees with the Ministry of Highways says they have a slogan called “getting home safe at the end of the day.”
“And that’s the key for everybody,” he made clear. “Everybody has family members or things that drive them to be passionate in their life that they want to get home to it at the end of the day.”
Safety tips include leaving extra distance between you and the vehicle in front of you; obey posted signs; slow down; plan your trip in advance and leave early.