4,000 speeders were ticketed in Calgary construction zones last year. This year it's 10 times more
And no, it's not because of more officers or photo radar locations
If the number of speeding tickets handed out so far this year is any indication, Calgarians are seriously beginning to lose their patience with construction season.
Police said in 2017, they issued 3,785 speeding tickets in marked construction zones.
In the first six months of this year, that number rose tenfold to 39,968 tickets.
"It's an unfortunate number, but people are tearing through construction zones," said Staff Sgt. Steve Ellefson with the Calgary police's traffic section.
"That's ultimately what's going on. We haven't changed any resources," Ellefson said, pointing out that the only variables that changed this year from previous years are the scope of construction projects and a longer 2018 construction season.
A scary statistic
"That's a little bit of a scary stat," said Sean Somers, a spokesperson with the City of Calgary's transportation department.
While Somers was surprised to see the spike, he said it's likely reflective of the sheer volume of projects happening across the city.
There are more than 80 paving projects happening on major roads — not to mention the BRT work taking place on 17th Avenue S.E. and 14th Street S.W., the multi-phase makeover project on 17th Avenue S.W., and the upgrading of Crowchild Trail, to name a few.
"People are feeling the pinch of that. We're certainly empathetic to that frustration, we get it," said Somers.
However, that doesn't excuse the speeding, especially in areas where workers are present.
Somers said the city currently has a signage campaign to drive home the message that speeding through a construction zone isn't just zipping past heavy machinery — it's putting workers' lives at risk.
"At the end of the day people need to slow down, take their time, and ensure they're travelling safely through those construction zones," he said.
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With files from Rachel Ward.