Winnipeg drivers unfairly ticketed in construction zones, says group
Lack of proper signage creates slew of tickets, says Wise Up Winnipeg
A lack of proper signage at road construction zones means drivers are being unfairly ticketed in those areas, according to a Winnipeg anti-photo-radar group.
The Manitoba government recently doubled the fines for speeding in designated construction zones, as well as made it mandatory to obey lower speed limits in those zones regardless of whether workers are present or not.
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But Wise Up Winnipeg, which is dedicated to fighting photo radar enforcement, says drivers are at a disadvantage because construction zones don't always have signs indicating where they end.
"Most of them don't have a 'construction ends' zone, meaning that it goes on indefinitely, and almost unbelievably that is where they are enforcing," Todd Dube, the group's founder, told CBC News on Thursday.
Wise Up Winnipeg says all the highway construction sites its members observed did not have the proper signage as required in the provincial government's Work Zone Traffic Control Manual.
A common issue was that the "construction ends" signs were never posted, "which in itself is enough to make all tickets illegal under the Highway Traffic Act," according to the group.
'There's so much construction'
According to the manual, designated construction zones should have signs stating where they begin and end, as well as signs indicating where drivers should slow down to the reduced speed limit and where they can speed up again.
"They could probably use more signage, I guess, because there's so much construction," said Karen McDonald, who was driving in Winnipeg late Thursday.
"I've been all over the city today, and there's construction in every part, I think."
Dube said the lack of proper signage is especially unfair since the province doubled the fines for speeding in designated construction zones in May.
"If it was about safety, don't you think that they would be the ones following the Highway Traffic Act criteria for proper signing? They're not," he said.
In light of the Winnipeg Police Service's announcement this week to refund more than 2,500 photo radar tickets issued between June 27 and July 1 because of what it calls an "administrative error," Wise Up Winnipeg is demanding refunds for drivers who have been ticketed for speeding in designated construction zones without "construction ends" signs.
In an email, provincial government spokesperson told CBC News, "The traffic authority, which could be a municipality or the province, allows contractors to set up signage on its behalf."
However, the province did not indicate who was responsible for following up to ensure adequate signage.