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Construction zone speeding violations up in July: SGI

When construction season begins, Saskatchewan motorists will see improved signage in highway work zones.
The speed limit in Saskatchewan highway construction zones is 60 km/h. File photo

Police forces in Saskatchewan handed out 224 tickets in July to drivers speeding in construction zones — up from the 138 handed out in the same month in 2019.

Of those, Saskatchewan Government Insurance (SGI) said 195 were for exceeding 60 km/h when passing highway workers or occupied equipment in the orange zone.

Another 15 were for passing a highway worker or flag person over the posted limit and eight drivers were ticketed for failing to obey the directions of a flag person.

Read more: Saskatchewan trucker charged with killing man, child in Manitoba construction zone crash

“Disobeying speed limits in highway construction zones is a serious concern,” SGI said Thursday in a release.

“Passing highway workers — or highway equipment with its warning lights flashing — in a marked construction zone means drivers are required to slow to 60 km/h or the posted speed limit.”

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Shantel Lipp, president of the Saskatchewan Heavy Construction Association, believes one reason why drivers disobey highway construction zone speed limits is because people are “in a hurry by nature.”

“I think that some folks get in the mindset of thinking that I have to slow to 60 so I’m going to be late,” Lipp said in a video statement.

“I don’t think that people realize that by dropping your speed down from 110 to 60 really only shaves minutes off your commute.”

Read more: Number of near-misses in N.B. highway construction zones growing ‘significantly’

Overall, there were 1,180 construction zone speeding convictions — including photo radar — in 2019.

The speed limit in Saskatchewan highway construction zones is 60 km/h. A driver caught going 40 km/h over the limit faces a fine of $1,008.

On municipal roads and in urban areas, speeds can differ from highway work zones. Drivers are required to slow to the posted speed limit and follow directions on all signs.

Lipp said slowing down in the zones shows respect for the workers.

“They work long hours and it’s a dangerous job, so to respect the work zone, respect the workers, respect other drivers within the zone and respect yourself as you’re travelling through the work zone.

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“It’s about keeping yourself safe as well.”

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