The city’s annual “respect work zones” campaign, in partnership with the Saskatoon police, started Tuesday to raise awareness about slowing down in construction zones and around workers.
“In Saskatoon, we’re continuing to raise awareness of the importance of work zone safety and our workers are starting to report they are feeling more safe as motorists are obeying the rules,” Angela Gardiner, the city’s general manager of utilities and environment, said.
“Where we continue to have concerns, though, is in our residential areas and on our local streets where the speed limit is typically 50 km/h so, our usual 60 km/h reductions aren’t applicable.”
To reduce speeding in these work zones, crews will start using signs slowing motorists to 30 km/h where the speed limit is normally 50 km/h.
“Typically, these are shorter-term projects where the workers are separated from the passing vehicles only by pylons … despite wearing high-visibility vests and protection equipment, they are in danger working in these work zones,” Gardiner said.
“So this summer we’re introducing some new signage in our work zones to require a reduction to 30 km/h when passing. Until now, we’ve been asking people to slow down in these types of work zones but with this new signage, vehicles will be able to be ticketed.”
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The new signs will be rolled out over the next few months.
A driver going 50 km/h in a 30 km/h zone would be subject to a $190 fine, according to Saskatoon police Staff Sgt. Patrick Barbar.
Regardless of whether a temporary speed sign is posted, drivers can be fined by police for speeding or entering a work zone, according to the city.
Respect work zone campaign includes testimonials from real workers talking about close calls with drivers in the city.