The government of Saskatchewan has released a new set of fines to be imposed on drivers caught speeding in a construction zone.

The new penalties, unveiled Wednesday, are set to take effect on Nov. 1 and apply to fines related to so-called Orange Zones where the speed limit is usually reduced from 110 km/h to 60 km/h.

The government has made safety of highway workers a priority following the death of a flag person in August.

The following table summarizes the penalties, based on different speeds, with a comparison of the existing fines and fines that will take effect on Thursday.

The totals include all elements of the penalty, including the base fine for speeding in a construction zone, an additional fine based on the speed noted and a victim surcharge.

 

Speed (km/h)Total Fine (current)Total Fine (new)
 70$210$300
 80$230$330
 90$250$360
100$360$530
110$400$714
120$440$798
   

(Source: Saskatchewan Government Insurance)

NDP questions math

While the new fines are significantly higher than existing penalties, the opposition NDP said Wednesday they were expecting a tripling of the fines, based on what the government said in the speech from the throne, delivered Oct. 25.

"New Democrats believe strongly that increased penalties for speeding in orange zones is a good way to protect highways workers," Danielle Chartier, the NDP critic on SGI, said. "We are disappointed to learn that the Sask. Party’s extensively publicized plan to triple orange zone speeding fines was overblown PR."

The language used by the government, when it spoke about the tripling of fines, included a reference to what it calls "the normal penalty".

The normal penalty, for speeding outside a construction zone, is a base fine of $70 plus additional fines. The current base fine, for speeding in a construction zone, is $140 (plus additional fines). The new base fine, for speeding in a construction zone, will be $210 (plus additional fines).

However, Chartier said the numbers released Wednesday do not match expectations.

"Changing the fine from to $210 from $140 is not tripling the penalty, by my math, and we think that people expected a stronger change," she said.