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SGI reminds drivers to “slow it to 60” on highways as construction season continues

SGI says this month’s traffic spotlight will see officers across Saskatchewan making sure drivers cool their jets as they make their way through construction zones.

The initiative seeks to serve as a reminder that when someone is driving through a highway construction area, it’s time to slow to 60 KM/H.

The Chief Operating Officer of the Auto Fund Penny McCune says more drivers will be on the road going on summer trips, especially as life returns to normal post-pandemic. She notes that these drivers should be aware that the roadwork being done now makes the roads safer long term, and people can keep crews safe by simply obeying signage and watching for warnings from flagpersons. 

SGI says their statistics show that in 2020, there were 101 collisions in work zones around the province, resulting in 35 injuries and one death.

Even without the possibility of someone getting hurt, SGI says there’s a big financial reason not to be speeding in a construction zone. Tickets are more costly in construction zones.

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For example, if someone ends up doing 100KM/H in a 60 construction area, their ticket starts at $1,000. Photo radar will be assisting officers in their search for speeders.

Shantel Lipp, President of the Saskatchewan Heavy Construction Association says the best way to be prepared for these zones is to know where they are in advance and adjusting travel time accordingly.

“Trying to buy back time by speeding through a work zone will both endanger workers and likely make you even more late when you get pulled over for breaking the law.”

SGI also recommends being well-rested before a drive. By being alert, drivers don’t miss important signage, hazards or details.

Secondary focus this month is on commercial vehicle safety

SGI says officers will also be on the lookout for commercial vehicle drivers making good choices on the road.

This connects with the first theme as, during construction season, more big trucks or heavy machines are on the highways of Saskatchewan, the provincial insurer notes.

Law enforcement will be looking for commercial vehicles driving with excess weights, ensuring proper registration and cargo securement, checking for completed trip inspections, and keeping an eye out for other traffic infractions this month.

In 2020, there were 1,187 collisions involving commercial vehicles. These resulted in 184 injuries and 14 fatalities, also according to SGI stats.

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