Construction work zone safety highlights SGI’s July traffic safety spotlight

Drivers are required to slow to 60 km/h or the speed that’s posted when passing a highway worker, flag person or highway equipment with warning lights flashing. Jonathan Guignard / Global News

Since construction is currently being done on highways throughout Saskatchewan, SGI’s Traffic Safety Spotlight for July is work zones.

“#SlowDown in the #OrangeZone and help keep workers safe” is their slogan, and a message SGI continues to preach.

“That’s someone’s workplace you’re driving through,” said Joe Hargrave, the minister responsible for SGI.

“The extra time you might gain by speeding through a work zone just isn’t worth the risk.”

They are reminding drivers to mindful of workers as they drive through the construction areas, be patient, slow down and stay alert.

READ MORE: SGI not celebrating 3 traffic safety spotlight records

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“These workers are our friends, neighbours, and family members. It’s important that we do our part to get them home safe,” said Collin Pullar, president of the Saskatchewan Construction Safety Association.

“Through awareness and education, we can prevent many incidents and close calls in our work zones and help create the safest construction environment in Canada.”

When passing a highway worker, flag person or highway equipment with warning lights flashing, drivers are required to slow down to 60 km/h or the speed that is posted.

“Workers and machinery are both very close to traffic in work zones,” said Shantel Lipp, president of the Saskatchewan Heavy Construction Association.

READ MORE: February’s traffic spotlight focused on seatbelt safety

“Work zones tend to be more congested due to lane reductions, so things can happen fast which makes any number of speeders in work zones unacceptable.”

Failing to slow down can be expensive. Drivers caught exceeding the limit by 20 km/h face a $440 fine. 40 km/h over the limit will cost $1,008.

On top of the fine, drivers also lose at least three safe driver recognition points.

Police will be paying more attention to work areas in July and some work areas will be monitored by photo radar.

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There were close to 1,500 speeding in work zone tickets issued in 2018.

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