Airdrie RCMP, Calgary police remind drivers to slow down in construction zones this summer

Calgary police fine more than 11,000 drivers speeding in construction zones this year
WATCH: Calgary's commute can be tough enough, but when you add construction, the drive can be miserably slow. While reduced speeds are mandatory in construction zones, it seems thousands aren't obeying the rules and now, they're paying for it. Lisa MacGregor reports.

‘Tis the season for construction work in Calgary and surrounding areas.

As more zones pop up, so do detours, speed reductions, four-way stops and photo radar.

Calgary fine numbers

From January to May 2019, Calgary police fined more than 8,860 drivers speeding in construction zones. With workers present in those zones, 3,764 drivers were fined. Eighteen people sped past emergency vehicles.​

Airdrie reminds drivers to slow down

If you speed through a construction zone, the fine doubles.

“For example, 10 [km/h] over on a normal road would be $105,” said Airdrie RCMP Const. Tracy Hare on Tuesday. “That would be doubled in a construction zone, so $210. The higher the speed, obviously, the higher the fine.”
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READ MORE: Airdrie RCMP catch more than 40 distracted drivers in 3-day blitz

RCMP are reminding the public that traffic flow might shift as construction ramps up. Hare said she has seen a lot of near-misses and advises drivers to always be aware of their surroundings, especially because changes can be frequent.

Hare said since it’s summer, calls from concerned citizens usually spike.

“Every year when these construction zones are put up, we do see a higher volume of concerns from the public about speeding or maybe not obeying those traffic control devices, such as the four-way stops or the workers holding up stops signs to direct traffic,” she said.

Construction in Airdrie on Tuesday, July 9, 2019.
Construction in Airdrie on Tuesday, July 9, 2019. Global News

Construction workers have to capitalize on the short amount of sunny weather to get things done.

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“It’s summer in the city and we only have 100 days that we can work in this country, so we have to get on it and be as efficient as we can,” said Glenn Archer, team lead at Capital Projects and Infrastructure at the City of Airdrie.

“You know how it is when you schedule: you’ve got five minutes to get [a] youngster to school, you’ve got five minutes to get to an appointment. You know how long it takes and now there’s this construction site, so people get frustrated, but we try really hard to convince them to slow down. Take your time. You’ll get there.”

Signs are there for a reason, he said.

“If you do nothing else but slow down, you have the ability to see and react better,” Archer said.

– With files from Global News’ Lisa MacGregor