News Release - May 15, 2009
SLOW TO 60 KM AND SAVE A LIFE
Motorists are required to follow one simple rule when encountering highway construction over the course of their travels this May long weekend - slow to 60 km/h when passing highway workers and equipment.
"Given the huge volume of work planned for Saskatchewan's highway network, the chances are very good that someone will drive through construction ‘Orange Zones' over the course of the summer," Highways and Infrastructure Minister Wayne Elhard said. "Please pause to consider your own safety as well as the safety of our flag people, maintenance and construction workers. When speeding through the Orange Zone you put them, and yourself, in real danger."
In a five-year period between 2003-2007, there were 336 collisions in the Orange Zone, resulting in 126 injuries and two deaths.
Regina television news anchor Carla Beynon has experienced first-hand the drastic consequences of an Orange Zone collision while working as a summer student on Highway 1 near Banff, Alberta. A car struck her from behind at high speed as she was picking up pylons, leaving her with a broken back, ribs, pelvis and foot. She had only been on the job for two weeks. Beynon told her story to new student recruits hired by the Ministry of Highways and Infrastructure during North American Occupational Safety and Health Week, May 3-9.
"We hire 150 students every construction season in positions from flagging to paint striping," Elhard said. "This puts them directly on the highway in close proximity to traffic. They receive rigorous training that emphasizes safe operating procedures, safety policies and due diligence - but as Carla recently explained to our student trainees, careful attention to safety procedures can only go so far in keeping them safe."
Drivers who exceed 60 km/h when passing a highway worker face a base fine of $140 plus $2 per kilometre for each kilometre over the speed limit; the fine is pushed up to $4 for each kilometre over 90 km/h. For example, a violator travelling at 100 km/h through the Orange Zone can expect to receive a ticket of $240 plus a victim's surcharge of $40.
For information on road construction go to http://www.highways.gov.sk.ca/road-conditions/ and click on the road conditions map.
For more information, contact: