|Orange Zone Crackdown|
|Wednesday, 26 September 2012 15:27|
The Province has teamed up with police and the RCMP to bring the hammer down on drivers who don't comply with rules in the Orange Zone. RCMP Sergeant Paul Dawson says they are still writing tickets but they do feel the message is getting across to the majority of people abiding by the Orange Zone.
Some of the speeds that have been recorded in Orange Zones around the province seem to be far in excess of the 60 km/h we are supposed to be driving so the question arises - does it warrant other charges?
RCMP Sergeant Paul Dawson says officers are not limited to the Traffic Safety Act but the bottom line is that when they lay a charge they have to be able to prove the elements of the offense - so it's important to lay the appropriate charge
Kim Hambleton is with SGI, which governs the Traffic Safety Act and she says the provincial rule is that if there are no workers or working equipment present in an Orange Zone, you don't have to slow down to 60 km/h.However, different municipalities, like Saskatoon, have tougher rules, which stipulate you must follow the Orange Zone speed limit regardless of whether workers are present.
If you get a speeding ticket in a school zone and it seems more excessive than if you get a ticket in the orange zone, that could be because all school zone tickets fall under provincial jurisdiction , which starts at one hundred 40 dollars, with a fine and victim surcharge, based on an escalating scale.
Rules around Orange Zones can be more stringent in Saskatoon and Regina in that you have to obey the Orange Zone regardless of whether anyone is working, but in Saskatoon officers actually have a choice between charging you under the bylaw for construction zones which starts with a base fine of 80 bucks or charging you under the Traffic Safety Act for Orange Zones which, again, starts at $140 and it increases by two dollars for every kilometre over the speed limit up to 90 kilometres per hour. After that, it's 4-dollars for every kilometre per hour.
Right now, SGI as well as the Ministries of Justice and Highways are meeting to see what might be done to emphasize and remind drivers of the importance of Orange Zones. SGI spokesperson Kim Hambleton says while they are checking out what other jurisdictions do, they are also considering implementing features like rumble strips, increased signage- and increased fines. (vmf Sept 25/12)