SGI urging drivers to slow down in construction zones

(Herald file photo)

Bailey Sutherland, Daily Herald

Summer has finally arrived in Saskatchewan and many residents are looking forward to fun destinations and family holidays. Summer also brings along something many do not take into consideration while planning their trips, construction season.

The focus of July’s Traffic Safety Spotlight is work zones and SGI would like to remind drivers to slow down and be mindful of workers while travelling through construction areas. “These workers are our friends, neighbours, and family members – it’s important that we do our part to get them home safe,” Collin Pullar, the president of the Saskatchewan Construction Safety Association, said in a press release. “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.”

The fines for speeding through construction zones reflect the danger that many workers face daily because of rushing drivers. Along with losing at least three Safe Driver Recognition points on your license, exceeding the 60 km/h speed limit by 20 km/h will cost you $440 and if you’re going 40 km/h over the limit, that will cost you $1,008. Police, along with photo radars will be keeping an eye on work zones this summer. In 2018, there were nearly 1,500 convictions for speeding in construction areas. That is 1,500 times that drivers put workers’ lives at risk.

“That’s someone’s workplace you’re driving through,” a press release quoted Joe Hargrave, Minister responsible for SGI as saying. “The extra time you might gain by speeding through a work zone just isn’t worth the risk.”

Drivers can follow some simple tips to do their part in keeping the roads safe all summer long. Full attention should always be focused on the road, expect the unexpected. Leave earlier for trips and expect delays, be patient. Obey posted signs and flag persons, keep a safe following distance between vehicles and be aware that you may not notice workers right away.

All drivers are required to slow to 60 km/h or the posted speed when passing through construction zones, reducing your speed can help avoid a close call, or something much worse, such as a potential collision.

Road and workplace safety are SGI and Safe Saskatchewan’s Mission: Zero’s top priorities. By following simple road procedures and obeying construction zone rules, drivers and workers alike can all ensure that this summer will be a safe one.