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Photo radar approved for Wakaw, Sask. highway intersection

Photo radar is being installed at a highway intersection near Wakaw, Sask., after officials said other measures failed to curb persistent speeding.
Photo radar is being installed at a highway intersection near Wakaw, Sask., after officials said other measures failed to curb persistent speeding. Sean Stetner / Global News

Concerns over persistent speeding is a driving factor behind the installation of photo radar at an intersection near Wakaw, Sask., government officials said.

According to data from the government, 42 per cent of traffic on Highway 41 at the intersection of Highway 2 exceeded the posted speed limit; 6.2 per cent of those were going more than 10 km/h over the limit.

Between 2011 and 2017, there were 31 collisions resulting in six deaths and 45 injuries at or near the intersection.

READ MORE: Woman killed in Highway 2 crash north of Wakaw, Sask.

“Based on our experience at other high-speed locations, we expect the presence of photo speed enforcement (PSE) to calm traffic and improve safety at this intersection, reducing the number of speed-related collisions,” Joe Hargrave, the minister responsible for SGI (Saskatchewan Government Insurance), said Wednesday in a release.

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“Our goal with PSE is zero tickets and zero crashes. My advice to drivers who wish to avoid getting a speeding ticket is simple: obey the posted speed limit.”

Wakaw’s mayor agrees photo radar is needed at the intersection.

“The Town of Wakaw supports the installation of photo speed enforcement along Highway 41,” said Wakaw Mayor Steve Skoworodko.

“We need to reduce the amount of speeders travelling through that intersection, because they are putting themselves and other road users in danger.”

The Wakaw location was chosen by a committee from nine proposals.

READ MORE: 1 dead in Highway 41 crash south of Wakaw, Sask.

Along with being weighed against a set criteria, the Ministry of Highways and Infrastructure, which submitted the Wakaw application, had to show previous measures to solve the problem were unsuccessful.

Officials said lower speed limits, additional signage, speed display devices, flashing warning lights and increased enforcement failed to slow down drivers.

“We’ve said all along that there would be rigorous criteria applied to any proposed new location,” Hargrave said.

“We don’t intend to have speed cameras on every highway and street — only where the data shows that excessive speeds represent a safety risk.”

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Once the camera is installed and operational by the end of January 2020, there will be a three-month warning period for drivers before ticketing starts.

Revenue generated from photo speed enforcement, less operating costs, is used to support traffic safety initiatives province-wide.