As harvest in the area begins to ramp up, rural Saskatchewan sees an increase in heavy equipment, with everything from combines to super-B’s on our grid roads and highways.
While you are accustomed to the obvious warning aimed at the general public, asking them to be mindful and have patience with the surge of farm traffic, this warning extends not just to the public, but to everyone.
As the heavy equipment takes it’s toll on our grid roads, it’s up to the road maintenance crews and grader operators to be out there keeping them in good shape. Unfortunately, because graders are a common sight on our grid roads, many people tend to take them for granted and don’t always show the courtesy to slow down when passing them as they would for other equipment.
When grading the roads, that operator is in a work zone, no different than a road construction crew. Even if you feel you are a talented driver, and there seems plenty of room to pass, you still create an unnecessary hazard for that operator as you spray them with gravel. Not to mention, the entire premise for slowing down for heavy equipment and workers is not because of obvious hazards, but because of unknown hazards you may discover when it’s too late.
The speed limit for most grid roads is maximum 80 km/h, and vehicles are required to slow down to 60 km/h when passing emergency, work and service vehicles and equipment equipped with flashing amber or blue and amber lights.
The maximum speed limit when passing tow trucks, service vehicles or emergency vehicles that are stopped with their lights flashing or when passing Ministry of Highways and Infrastructure equipment with lights flashing, whether in motion or not, is 60 km/h.
Fines for speeding when passing highway workers or equipment occupied by a worker in the work zone start of $240 with a per kilometre rate assessed for each kilometre over the speed limit (ranging from $6 to $12 per km depending on speed).Saskatchewan Driver’s Handbook
Grader operators, just like all the rest of the people out there working hard to bring in the harvest and repair our roads, just want to come home safely at the end of the day.