Strathcona County, Alberta – Strathcona County RCMP and its road safety partners remind motorists that road construction season has begun and drivers need to be extra cautious when approaching construction zones.
Construction zone speed limits are set with two principals in mind. First, they represent the maximum speed you can safely drive at given the road conditions. Second, they safeguard workers, who are at risk of being struck by passing vehicles that are moving too quickly.
If you don’t slow down in a construction zone you risk a collision involving yourself and/or other road users. There can be workers on or near the road operating heavy equipment, working with hand tools on the ground or acting as flag persons. Road workers could also be hidden behind equipment, materials, etc. The faster you drive, the longer it will take to stop.
Even when it seems that there is no activity in a construction zone, there may be other less obvious/hidden hazards such as fresh oil, loose gravel chips and uneven pavement. These conditions can be dangerous and cause damage to vehicles travelling at high rates of speed.
The speed limit in construction zones must be obeyed at all times. This applies even when people and equipment are not working. If workers are present, the fines in these areas will be doubled.
By doing a little research ahead of time, you may be able to avoid construction zones altogether by finding alternate routes that will save you time and hassle. Avoid delays by using Alberta 511 for up-to-date road reports. Call 511 toll-free, visit 511.alberta.ca or follow them on Twitter @511Alberta to get on the road to safer travel.
It is also important to remember that the law requires motorists to slow down when passing emergency vehicles and tow trucks.
If you're passing stopped emergency vehicles or tow truck, slow down to 60km/h or the posted lower speed if you're in the next closest lane. The fine for speeding in these areas is doubled.
If an emergency vehicle is approaching, pull over and stop as close to the curb as possible. Move as far away from the centre of the intersection as you can to provide a path.
With the May long weekend and summer season approaching and both vehicle traffic and road construction increased greatly, please be aware of your speed when passing emergency vehicles and construction zones. Strathcona County RCMP and road safety partners will be monitoring and enforcing these offences for drivers who do not comply with the legislation.
In 2017 Strathcona County Council declared the third week in May as Road Safety Week in the County. This year’s campaign is focusing on construction zone safety. Road Safety Week will run from May 14-20, 2018.