Blog Post #1038 – Speeding a Risk in Work Zones in Newfoundland

Excerpt from the OH&S Canada magazine

Nearly half of the vehicles violated the speed limit in construction zones, according to a report on a pilot project that examined the effectiveness of camera technologies in construction zones released on March 07, 2019.

Radar and laser camera technologies from three contractors were selected for testing at a range of highway and roadside construction sites. Cameras indicate that vehicles passing through the testing zones were travelling at an average speed of 73 kilometres per hour in 50 kilometre-per-hour zones, with some vehicles travelling in excess of 110 kilometres per hour.

“This report confirms what we have been hearing from crews working on our roads,” Minister of Transportation and Works Steve Crocker says. “While we will continue our work to update provincial legislation to bring safety cameras into use, I encourage all motorists to please slow down, watch for crews and obey al signs.”

Minister of Service NL Sherry Gambin-Walsh says the province amended the Highway Traffic Act in 2016 to allow the registered owner of a vehicle to be charged for speeding in a construction zone. “We urge drivers to follow all posted speed limits when travelling through construction zones. It is extremely important for drivers to follow the speed limits, as there are both people and machinery in very close proximity to moving and we want to ensure safety for all road users.”

“The presence of workers, often in close proximity to live traffic, presents a unique road safety challenge in work zones,” says Jim Organ, executive director of Heavy Civil Association in Newfoundland and Labrador. “Industry believes that speed reduction initiatives such as camera technologies provide another tool to help deter excessive speed in construction zones.”

The pilot project is complete, and the Department of Transportation and Works will now work with Service NL and the Department of Justice and Public Safety to determine how these technologies can be used for enforcement purpose, the statement add.

My opinion

Protection of all workers is mandatory in most provinces. Why would a road construction project be any different? Picture a telehandler forklift speeding at a construction site and placing all workers at risk. It would not be happening again, that is for sure. In other words, the road construction project is just another work location but plays by a different set of rules but safety rules should be enforced like no others. A road worker may not be able to protect himself or herself from a closely speeding vehicle.

I would suggest that larger fines and longer jail time would go a long way to slow this down and give speeding drivers time to pause and think of whose lives they may change including their own and their families.

How about facing your child and explaining what you did to be sent to jail and tearing up the family.

Think about it!

HRS Group Inc. has a great team that can help you with all your health and safety needs. Contact Deborah toll free at 1-877-907-7744 or locally at 705-749-1259 We can also be reached at 

Ensure your workplace is a safe place.

Remember – “In Canada, ALL Accidents are Preventable”

‘Work’ and ‘Play’ safe.

Daniel L. Beal

CHSEP – Advanced Level
VP & Senior Trainer
HRS Group Inc.



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