As the city enters the final months of a busy construction season, the City of Saskatoon and Saskatoon Police Service (SPS) reminded drivers to slow down when passing construction workers or vehicles and pay attention to work zone signage.
Those who don't are facing hundreds of dollars in fines. Between May 1 and July 31 the SPS issued 58 fines for speeding in construction zones.
"The number of offences spiked in July, which is one of our busiest months for construction," said Angela Gardiner, director of transportation. "This is the time of year many drivers start to get frustrated with construction delays, but it's important not to become complacent as all of our safety is at risk. We urge drivers to continue to slow down, pay attention and respect work zones."
The Saskatoon Police Service enforces the city's Traffic Bylaw and the provincial Traffic Safety Act. Fines for speeding in construction zones start at $210. Workers can also report violations to the SPS when there's no physical police presence and this may result in fines or charges.
"We know that these incidents are more common than we are seeing and this is one of the reasons that we encourage crews to record incidents and provide us with as much information as possible to follow up," said staff sergeant Judy McHarg. "There are still one to two months of road work planned this construction season, and officers will be paying special attention to work sites in the coming weeks; disrespecting the signage and speed restrictions will not be tolerated."
Gardiner also reminded pedestrians and cyclists to respect work zone signage. Cyclists are subject to the same traffic control devices that apply to vehicle traffic. To ensure worker, pedestrian and cyclist safety, staying alert and obeying signage is key. Cyclists should stop and wait for cars to pass before merging into the open lane, and remember that it's only safe to proceed through the work zone when it's clearly marked and identified for cyclists to do so.
"Our workers face multiple hazards in the work zone – cyclists and pedestrians should not be one of them," said Gardiner. "Work zone safety is everyone's business."