A New Brunswick driver was caught driving 160 km/h in a construction zone, double the posted speed limit, during a recent RCMP enforcement crackdown in the Pennfield area.

The driver was given a speeding ticket of more than $600. Fines for speeding are double in construction zones.

During a three-hour span Wednesday, the RCMP ticketed 61 drivers for speeding in a highway construction zone, RCMP Sgt. Greg MacAvoy said Thursday.

"So, it was quite surprising at the number of people that were detected and the high rates of speed they were travelling," he said.


RCMP Sgt. Greg MacAvoy says speeding in construction zones can be deadly. ((CBC))

"This action by police was taken to remind motorists of the importance of respecting the speed limits posted in construction zones," MacAvoy said.

"Speeding through a construction zone is dangerous to the road workers, other motorists and yourself."

In late August of 2007, a Department of Transportation flagman was killed, and three other road workers were injured, when a transport truck plowed into a highway crew near Moncton.

That prompted the government to double the fines for speeding in construction zones.

MacAvoy said drivers may not realize that they are at risk, too.

"There's always the possibility of something mechanical failing and the ability to react to something unusual on the road — I mean, particularly in a construction zone, the chances of something unusual happening , a vehicle pulling out, a flagman, a piece of equipment falling, and someone having to react suddenly, even another motorist — it's high risk," he said.

The faster you go, the less time you have to react."

The RCMP has just set up five regional units in New Brunswick with officers dedicated to traffic services.

The plan is to get higher visibility for enforcement, like the blitz here yesterday, to discourage speeding, dangerous driving and failure to wear seatbelts and to reduce the number of accidents and fatalities.