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Speeding in work zones to get a lot more expensive

Drivers caught speeding through highway construction zones will face stiffer fines beginning this long weekend.

Starting Friday, lead-foots will face double the fines in designated construction zones compared with other parts of the road.

Legislation enabling the higher fines and other changes was passed in December.

Currently, there are higher fines for speeding in a construction zone when workers are present, but drivers can't always see them.

The new law will boost fines still higher in construction zones. Motorists will be ticketed regardless of whether workers are present.

New regulations will also clarify signage requirements and eliminate the use of signs that require lower speeds only when passing workers.

Beginning Friday, traffic authorities and contractors working on their behalf must use special signs to identify designated construction zones if the work is taking place for more than four hours on a paved roadway where the posted speed limit is 80 km/h or more. A traffic authority could be the provincial government or a municipality.

Where the construction site does not meet all the above criteria, a traffic authority or contractor will assess the risk to workers in the zone and may choose to sign the site as a designated construction zone.

The new fines will apply in designated construction zones regardless of whether the limit is reduced, the province says.

Under the amendments to the Highway Traffic Act, a driver ticketed at 110 km/h in a 60 km/h zone will pay $1,359 if in a construction zone instead of $704.50 in a non-construction zone. (The fine is not perfectly double since court administration costs added to the tickets are not being increased.)

A ticket for driving 80 km/h in a 60 km/h zone will mean $573.60, compared with $311.80.

larry.kusch@freepress.mb.ca

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