Construction Zone Tickets in Calgary
The 2 Seasons on Calgary’s Roads
We all know that when it comes to Calgary’s roads, there are only 2 seasons: Winter and construction.
And since it’s not winter, it must be construction season! (Who are we kidding – it’s always construction season.)
We also all know that the rules of the road change when driving in a construction zone. But what’s not as widely known is just how these rules change or what the consequences of breaking them are.
Construction Zone Infractions and Calgary’s Traffic Court
Over the past many years, we here at Calgary’s Traffic Ticket Agent have seen an increasing number of people both getting and fighting traffic tickets from Calgary construction zones.
While this is no doubt partly due to the increase of actual construction zones throughout Calgary, it’s also because many drivers don’t fully understand the rules of driving through a construction zone.
There are 2 main things to know when driving through any construction zone:
1. A construction zone’s speed limit is applicable 24/7, unlike a school or playground zone.
2. Fines double when workers are present
These points apply to any construction zone in Alberta, regardless of whether the construction is happening in a city, town, hamlet, highway, or the middle of nowhere.
Construction zone speed limits
It would seem that there are many people who believe construction zones, school zones, and playground zones all have the same hours of operation.
However, they absolutely do not!
We’ve seen a surprising number of people try to defend against their Calgary construction zone ticket by claiming they didn’t know the speed limits were in place 24/7… As you can guess, the courts are pretty quick to pick that argument apart.
For the record: Construction zone speed limits are enforceable ALL day and ALL night for so long as the signs are up.
It’s also worth pointing out that this rule isn’t just for the safety of road construction crews and equipment – it’s also there for your own safety!
While construction crews are obliged to make sure road ways are clear and safe from equipment, debris, and stray tools, they cannot ensure that these things don’t accidentally end up on the road after they go home for the day.
A sudden strong wind or freak hailstorm can send stray objects from construction sites onto the roads, especially in Calgary. These stray objects can easily damage your vehicle and even your person if you’re not careful. Anything from flat tires to shattered windshields can occur if you encounter these things at too fast a speed.
It’s also a lot easier to avoid stray construction site debris when you’re going slow enough to spot them on the road ahead.
When the fines are double
There is a lot of confusion about when speed fines are double for construction zones and when they are not.
We’ve even seen people who take their tickets before the courts arguing that the doubling of speeding fines is an entirely arbitrary thing and should not be applied to their infractions.
Again, the courts are very quick to shoot that argument right down.
For the record: Speed fines in construction zones are double when workers are present.
If you think about it, this makes logical sense. After all, when are traffic-related injuries and fatalities most likely to happen in a construction zone? When workers are present, that’s when.
According to Partners In Road Construction Safety, or PIRCS, 17 construction workers have lost their lives in work zones and 955 workers have been injured over the past 5 years.
Furthermore there were 1,045 road construction zone collisions in Alberta last year alone.
When you look at numbers like this, it becomes clear why both the city and the province are so strict when it comes to construction zone road safety.
As for speeding fines in Calgary’s construction zones, they can vary from $78 to $949 depending on how fast you were going and whether or not workers were present. They can also include demerit points if your ticket was handed to you by a police officer.
Here’s a handy chart, courtesy of saferoads.com:
While it may be hard to see the logic behind certain rules of the road, it’s always important to remember that there are very good reasons they exist. Motor vehicles are dangerous (even fatal) machines when not operated wisely and within the parameters of the law.
Have you received a traffic ticket that needs a good defender? Or have some questions about traffic tickets and/or construction zone traffic rules? Then get in touch with us and let our decades of experience defending Calgary traffic tickets work for you.