At what cost? Drivers who speed in work zones put lives at risk
From now until the snow flies, men and women wearing reflective vests and hard hats will be working alongside drivers to complete as much maintenance, repair and construction as possible on roadways and other City infrastructure. The difference between these people and those who are driving, is the amount of protection they have in a collision.
“Our staff come to work for many reasons like all of us, but at the end of the day they look forward to going home and seeing their loved ones,” says Angela Gardiner, Acting General Manager of Transportation & Utilities. “Work zone signs and barriers are in place to let drivers know where they must not enter in order to keep these workers safe. It’s your responsibility as vehicle operator to watch for signs and respect work zones.”
Work zones are clearly marked with orange signs to show you're entering a road construction area and white signs showing the reduced speed limit. Drivers are required to slow to 60 km/h or whatever speed is posted when you enter the work area, and follow the directions of all signs in the zone. In residential areas, where the speed limit is 50 km/h, drivers are expected to slow down when passing workers.
“Fines double for speeding in a work zone and the Saskatoon Police Service will be watching for this,” says Saskatoon Police Service Traffic Unit Staff Sergeant Patrick Barbar. “Driving 20 km/h over the speed limit in a work zone will cost you $440 and 40 km/h over will cost $1008.”
The Saskatoon Police Service Traffic Unit will be patrolling various types of City work zones and workers are encouraged to report license plate numbers to the Saskatoon Police Service, which will follow up with the vehicle owner.
“Aside from people speeding past or driving through work zone barriers, our people report hearing threats and profanities from drivers,” says Gardiner. “Verbal and physical abuse of City and contractor workers is not acceptable and to stop this behaviour we will actively pursue court action to the extent of the law.”
The City is launching a public awareness campaign “At what cost?” to remind drivers that they put lives at risk when they are distracted or speed while passing construction work zones.
Visit saskatoon.ca/respectworkzones for more information.