Sask. stepping up construction zone enforcement

Following the death of a road crew worker from New Brunswick earlier this summer, enforcement of Saskatchewan's "orange zones" is being stepped up.

Saskatchewan Highways Minister Don McMorris said Wednesday that the province will pay the overtime for extra RCMP officers in highway construction zones — also known as orange zones — from now until the end of the road-building season.

Ashley Dawn Richards, 18, and her fiance had recently moved to Saskatchewan from Lakeside, N.B. to start a family.

They both found work on a road construction crew, with Richards working as a flagger. On Aug. 23, she was about 45 minutes into her first shift working near Midale, when a car struck her and she died. Her fiance later disclosed that she had been pregnant.

Police are investigating the incident.

Later, Premier Brad Wall vowed to do something to make orange zones safer, setting the stage for McMorris's announcement Wednesday.

McMorris said the extra enforcement will add to the policing that is already happening.

"We've seen enforcement in the orange zone — 175 tickets roughly annually per year — but obviously there needs to be more enforcement when you hear workers saying that speed is an issue," he said.

The minimum fine for speeding in an orange zone starts at $140, with an additional $2 for every km/h over 60.

The province has set aside $15,000 for the extra policing costs.

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