As more construction zones pop up on the outskirts of Saskatoon, some drivers are questioning why lower speed limits are being put in place while no work is underway.
Several listeners texted in to 650 CKOM Thursday morning to voice concern after Saskatoon police recently collected $18,000 in speeding fines in just two hours of patrolling a construction zone.
“It’s very frustrating to slow a loaded truck and trailer down, and then gear up again for two kilometres when there is no one working,” a texter from Prince Albert wrote. “Very irritating.”
Mark Rogstad, a spokesperson with the city, said part of the reason speed limits stay the same is to get drivers accustomed to the lower limit.
“Most drivers use the same route every day,” he wrote in an email to 650 CKOM. “So people get used to driving slower in what will become an even more active construction zone.”
Provincial law mandates a maximum speed limit of 60 km/h in construction zones, with speeding drivers facing triple the usual fine if they’re caught.
But one construction worker wants the law to better reflect construction within cities.
“In a residential area, there’s no way you should be going 60 km/h past construction workers,” said Riley Derkachenko, a paver with Prairie Paving Inc.
Derkachenko said he’d like to see orange zones treated like school zones, with a maximum speed limit of 30 km/h.
He noted most drivers obey signage his crews put up.
“You do get the odd guy that’s flying by,” he said. “But if you have the right signs up, people slow down.”
Construction is expected to slow traffic down along several routes out of Saskatoon this summer, including along Highway 5 and Highway 16 where new interchanges are being built.
—With files from 650 CKOM’s JT Marshall.