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Saskatchewan Work Zone Enhancements


Saskatchewan Ministry of Highways and Infrastructure (MHI) completed a review of its Traffic Control Devices Manual for Work Zones (TCDMWZ) due to an unfortunate August 2012 work zone collision that resulted in the death of flagperson. Fatal work zone collisions in Saskatchewan remain statistically low and do not appear to be increasing; injury work zone collisions are trending upward. Collision analysis show inattention/distraction, road conditions, disregard for traffic control devices and speed are contributing factors in work zone collisions.
To address the worker and motorist safety issues the MHI partnered with Saskatchewan Government Insurance (SGI) and the Ministry of Justice to facilitate the application of a safe systems framework that includes good engineering; strong legislation; adequate/visible enforcement; and timely and targeted education.
Input was solicited from various stakeholders, including the general public, Saskatchewan Heavy
Construction Association, police, cities, and the Saskatchewan Safety Council. The analysis of the input received confirmed four key objectives of the work zone safety enhancement study: to alleviate driver confusion; to enhance driver compliance; to improve jurisdictional consistency;
and to enhance contractor compliance of the traffic accommodation specifications. The study team’s methodology included gathering stakeholder input, conducting literature searches, and a
jurisdictional survey of provinces. The data gathered was analyzed and binned under the safe system’s categories: Engineering; Education; and Enforcement. Each item in the three categories was evaluated further based on its value to meeting the four main objectives. Further analysis included consideration of safety and mobility, legislative requirements and cost.
The key changes to the TCDMWZ focused on the engineering aspect and included setting regulatory speed zones supplemented with black and white speed signs, the addition of rumble strips, gateway assemblies, and speed feedback signs on high volume long duration projects.
Legislation was changed to allow for Automated Speed Enforcement (photo radar) in work zones and tripling of fines for speeding. To improve education SGI made changes to the driver handbook, while MHI launched a new work zone campaign focusing on regulatory speeds in work zones. Training for contractors and Ministry maintenance staff was provided on the new signing regime and other changes in the TCDMWZ
Continuing work is focused on improving work zone signage, consistency between MHI and cities in Saskatchewan, and enhancements to the mobile (maintenance) work zones. Evaluation of the feedback from the 2013 implementation and a safety audit of the TCDMWZ were carried out to incorporate changes that would further enhance efficiencies and safety in work zones in the province. 

Conference Paper Details

Session title:
Work Zone Safety ‐ Effective Management Practices
Muhr, M.
Kent, S.
Road safety