AUTOMATED SPEED ENFORCEMENT Q&A

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1 AUTOMATED SPEED ENFORCEMENT Q&A Q: What company is doing this work? A: ACS Public Sector Solutions, a Xerox company (ACS), was selected through a competitive tender process. Q: How will ACS Public Sector Solutions be paid and what is this costing the Government of Saskatchewan? A: ACS Public Sector Solutions will be paid on a fee for service basis. Their contract is for five years at an estimated cost of $1.6 million. ACS does not receive any portion of fines. Q: You say the RCMP will verify and determine if there is enough evidence to issue a ticket. How does that work? What evidence are they looking at? A: The RCMP will review all violation data, including, the license plate and offence information which is permanently incorporated into the photograph. If there are reasonable grounds to support a speeding violation in a highway construction zone, the RCMP will: Obtain vehicle registration data of the license plate in the photograph; Verify that the registration data matches the vehicle in the photograph; Issue a summary offence ticket; and Mail the summary offence ticket to the registered owner of the license plate. Q: How does the Automated Speed Enforcement technology work? A: The system is a manually operated laser-based digital imaging system capable of capturing high-resolution images of vehicles violating pre-set speed limits. The system can be hand-held, mounted on a tripod, or operated from inside a vehicle, depending on what is required. Operations may be conducted in any highway work zone in the province. Violation images and data are encrypted into a single secure file at the moment of capture. Operators can track vehicles in any direction as they pass through the speed zone. If a tracked vehicle is exceeding the pre-set speed threshold, the unit records a digital image of the vehicle and license plate along with the recorded speed. The evidence will be reviewed independently by the RCMP, and tickets issued to the registered owner of the vehicle observed speeding. Q: What if a driver s license plate is obscured? Can they beat the system that way? A: Under the Traffic Safety Act, it is an offence to operate a motor vehicle with an obscured or concealed license plate. Q: How do you know the technology is accurate? (Speed reading is accurate). A: The laser detection component is the same technology that has been in use by law enforcement agencies across Canada to accurately record speeds for over 30 years. This specific instrument is currently in use and has been accepted by courts in Alberta and Manitoba. The equipment is tested daily for accuracy. Q: How do you know you have the right vehicle? What if you got one vehicle mixed up with the vehicle travelling beside it? A: Being 'target specific', no interpretation of the traffic is required by the operator- the vehicle targeted is clearly indicated in the photo of the violation. 1

2 Q: Is photo enforcement automatic or is it under control of the operators? A: Photo enforcement is under the control of a trained enforcement operator who sets up and tests the equipment. Q: Are all photo enforcement operators qualified in the province of Saskatchewan? A: Yes. ACS has subcontracted the Canadian Corps of Commissionaires to be the enforcement operators. All enforcement operators provided by the Canadian Corps of Commissionaires are trained, licensed provincially, and security cleared through Public Works Government Services Canada (PWGSC). ACS trains and tests the enforcement operators to operate the speed monitoring device approved by The Traffic Safety (Speed Monitoring) Regulations. Q: How are photo enforcement sites selected? A: The only sites selected for photo enforcement in Saskatchewan are in highway work zones where workers are present and proper signage is posted at the work zone. Sites are selected based on objective risk criteria including traffic flow, traffic volume, collision risks and geography. Q: Will drivers know when photo enforcement is in place in a work zone? A: Photo enforcement may be deployed to any highway construction zone. Photo enforcement cannot be conducted unless photo enforcement signs are clearly posted at the work zone. It will be clear to every driver entering the work zone that photo enforcement may be present. Q: How many photo speed enforcement units are deployed throughout Saskatchewan? A: Currently, there are three speed monitoring systems deployed to enforce speed violations in construction work zones throughout the province. Q: Why is the government so involved with this? Usually RCMP and police services operate independently? A: Almost immediately after the collision that killed highway worker Ashley Richards in the summer of 2012, the Premier asked for recommendations to improve safety in work zones. The Ministries of Highways and Infrastructure and Justice as well as SGI have been working with the transportation and safety sectors and law enforcement to identify options. Automated Speed Enforcement is one of many measures designed to improve safety in work zones. Other measures include simplified signage, rumble strips and construction gates, increased fines for drivers, and stepped up enforcement efforts by the RCMP and Highway Transport officers. Automated Speed Enforcement in highway work zones was identified as a deterrent for speeding, the Traffic Safety Act was amended to allow for this application, and it is up to the RCMP to then enforce those laws. 2

3 Q: Is the warning period still underway or are tickets now being issued? A: As of July 15, 2013 photo speed enforcement was implemented by the RCMP. The timing of the grace period cannot be disclosed for public safety reasons. Issuing tickets is done at the discretion of the RCMP. Drivers could be ticketed at any time for going over the posted speed limit. Enforcement is about giving out warnings and violation tickets. This is about awareness and changing behavior. Q: How long after an offence does it take to receive an offence notice/ticket? A: This is a new program. Violations are mailed out within 30 days from the date of the offence, but legally the violation can be mailed out within six months of the violation date. Q: Is the evidence, including license plate photo and speed recorded, included with the ticket? A: Yes, the photograph, which includes the date, time, and speed, will be included with the ticket. Q: What if I don t agree? How do I contest a ticket? A: Once a speeding offence ticket has been issued, it becomes a provincial court matter. Options are listed on the back of the speeding offence ticket as to how you may deal with or contest the speeding offence ticket. Q: What are the payment options? A: An offender has the following choices for paying a fine: 1. Pay the fine by Visa/MasterCard online at 2. Pay the fine by mail to the Provincial Court of Saskatchewan Box 5030 REGINA SK S4P ET9 3. Pay the fine in person at any Saskatchewan Provincial Court office. All offices accept Visa/MasterCard and debit card payments 4. Pay the fine by Visa/MasterCard by calling or (306) (Regina) * Cheques/money orders should be made payable to the Provincial Court of Saskatchewan. Q: I sent in my ticket payment by cheque a few weeks ago. Why has my cheque not cleared my bank account? Who do I call to confirm that my ticket payment has been received? A: All payments received for fines and subsequent transactions are the responsibility of the Provincial Court. If you require further information, please call (306) (in Regina) or (Toll free), , or attend to your closest Provincial Court office. Please note that office hours are 8:30 AM to 4:30 PM CST Monday to Friday and closed on all recognized government holidays. Q: Could a ticket issued by photo speed enforcement impact the cost of my license? A: A conviction for speeding based on photo speed enforcement will not appear on your driver's abstract nor will any demerit points be assessed under the Safe Driver Recognition or Driver Improvement Programs for Saskatchewan registered vehicles. If you are a commercial carrier the conviction for this offence will be recorded on your National Safety Code (NSC) Profile. 3

4 Q: Who can I contact to further discuss this matter? A: For general information regarding the Automated Speed Enforcement Program, you may call or Q: On my photo speeding ticket, for the information regarding date and time, why does it say On or About? A: The wording is part of the provincially legislated form and required for legal purposes. Q: What if the driver of the vehicle isn t the owner of the vehicle? Can the ticket be issued to the driver? A: No. Provincial legislation holds the registered owner responsible for the violation. Under the Traffic Safety Act, the registered owner is legally responsible for the manner in which his or her vehicle is driven. The registered owner information is on file with Saskatchewan Government Insurance (SGI). The registered owner is the person summonsed and therefore responsible for responding by the due date noted, as explained on the front and back of the offence notice/ticket. There is an option on the back of the offence notice/ticket where the registered owner can authorize another person to respond on their behalf, however the registered owner remains responsible. Q: Could I have my offence notice/ticket mailed to a different address or pick it up in person? A: No. Provincial legislation requires that the offence notice/ticket be mailed to the address of the registered owner on file with SGI. Q: How many kilometres over the speed limit are you allowed before a ticket is issued? A: Any speed over the posted speed limit is considered speeding and may result in a ticket being issued. The Ministry of Justice, MHI and Infrastructure (MHI), and all police agencies do not endorse any breach of the law, so it would be inappropriate to discuss any potential tolerances. Q: Is photo speed enforcement set up in construction zones when there are no workers around? A: No. The Traffic Safety (Speed Monitoring) Regulations state that the use of speed monitoring devices may only be used if there are one or more highway workers or flag persons present. There are construction zones where a reduced speed limit is in effect for safety reasons, even when no workers are present. The RCMP may be conducting regular speed enforcement in these construction zones. Q: Where does the money from photo enforcement go? A: The money goes into the Province s General Revenue Fund. WORK ZONES Q: What changes have been made in the work zone? Heavier fines for drivers caught speeding in the work zone Increased fines were introduced in November Previously, fines started at $140 and increased by $2-$4 for every km/h over the speed limit. Now, the base fine will be $210 and will increase by $3 for every kilometer over the speed limit, up to a speed of 90km/h, and $6 for every kilometer over 90 km/h. For a driver who speeds through a work zone at 70 km/h, this would result in a total fine of $300 (see fine chart). 4

5 New simplified signage - When a driver first encounters the highway work zone, they will see an orange sign with a black image of a worker on it and a tab warning Workers Present up ahead. This will be followed by a regulatory black and white speed sign of 60 km/h and at this point, the driver must legally slow to 60 km/h. A driver will know they are approaching the end of the work zone by a sign that says End of Work Area followed by another black-and-white regulatory sign that indicates the driver can resume maximum speed. Training for Ministry of Highways and Infrastructure staff and contractors on implementing the new signing plan Information is being distributed and training sessions are taking place throughout the province for both MHI staff and contractors to ensure they are complying with the new regulations. Rumble strips and gates These tools alert the driver that they are entering a work zone. They were implemented in the fall of 2012 and will be placed on major construction projects on the province s busiest highways. The devices are intended to improve driver awareness and attention in work zones. Photo enforcement As of July 15, 2013, photo enforcement will be operational in random highway work zones on major construction projects on the province s busiest highways, to ensure speed limits are being obeyed. Enhanced enforcement Transport Compliance Officers from the Ministry of Highways and Infrastructure will augment Automated Speed Enforcement and the efforts of the RCMP by conducting enforcement in work zones. Q: How did these changes come about? A: The Premier directed government ministries and agencies to provide recommendations to improve safety in highway work zones. The Ministry of Justice, Ministry of Highways and Infrastructure, SGI, the RCMP and the Saskatchewan Heavy Construction Association all worked together to identify options in the areas of education, engineering and enforcement. These initiatives are the result of that work. Q: Do I have to slow to 60 km in a work zone if not workers are present? A: If the black and white 60 km speed sign is left uncovered, yes you do. This means there are hazards in the work zone such as a sharp pavement drop, loose stones or other hazards, that warrant keeping your speed at 60 km. Just follow the signs if the sign says Maximum 60 then you must stay at 60 km. Q: What will contractors/workers have to do to implement this? A: Information has been distributed and training sessions have taken place throughout the province. The MHI is working closely with the Saskatchewan Heavy Construction Association, the Saskatchewan Safety Council, and the Saskatchewan Centre of Excellence for Transportation and Infrastructure to deliver training to contractors, consultants and The MHI staff. All contractors and The MHI staff have been told this plan must be enforced. Q: Is there a way to report work zone signing problems? A: Yes - the number to report these problems is

6 Q: What are the penalties if a contractor doesn t comply with the new rules? A: Beginning this year, the new contracts for construction contain these penalties: First offense written warning Second offense - $5,000 penalty Third offense - $10,000 penalty (max) The $10,000 penalty could be re-issued for repeat offenders. Q: How long is a typical work zone? A: The vast majority of our work zones are 3-5 km in length. The length depends on the type of work and the number of operations occurring at any one time. Q: Will every work zone look the same now? A: They will not look exactly the same. Every work zone will have the same two signs at the beginning and at the end. The goal is to make it clear when the driver needs to slow to 60 km, and when they can speed back up again. However, other signs may be present depending on the type of work and hazards that could be present such as fresh oil, local detours, etc. In some instances, we will need to post additional regulatory speed signs that take the driver s speed down gradually from 100 km to 80 km to 60 km. Some projects will require message boards that provide added guidance. The signage in a work zone is specific to the type of work, location and unique traffic accommodation needs. Q: How will gates improve safety in work zones? A: The gates will be positioned in advance of work zones from both directions. They create a narrower driving environment. The natural response to this on the part of motorists is to slow down and/or become more aware of their surroundings. In addition, these gates are large and highly visible, improving the signage leading into and exiting work zones. Q: How will rumble strips improve safety? A: Rumble strips cause obvious vibration and audible rumbling that alert drivers to potential hazards. They have proven to be effective at reducing accidents due to inattention. They work in the same manner as the shoulder rumble strips that are on some of our busiest highways. Q: Where will these devices be used? A: These new safety devices will be in use on National Highway System routes and higher volume highways - for example, Highway 1, Highway 16, Highway 6 and 39, etc. Note: the duration of work must be longer than 24 hours for these devices to be used. In addition, any contractor or The MHI work crew can choose to use these devices on any project to increase safety in the work zone. Q: The Premier asked the public for input. Did you receive any suggestions from the Public and what did you do with their suggestions? A: We received approximately 100 suggestions from the public and these were considered. The most common suggestions received include: More enforcement Higher fines Reducing confusion with signs in the work zone Doing a better job of advertising the fines at the entrance to work zones. 6

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