Transportation and Works
May 13, 2008

Provincial Government Investing Millions to Make Roads Safer

Today marks the start of Canada Road Safety Week, and the Honourable Dianne Whalen, Minister of Transportation and Works, is encouraging motorists to put safety first when driving.

Canada Road Safety Week, which runs until May 19, is a campaign to make Canada�s roads the safest in the world and Minister Whalen says the Williams Government is doing its part to ensure the province�s roads are as safe as possible.

"This government has demonstrated time and again our steadfast commitment to road safety," said Minister Whalen. "That�s why in Budget 2008 we set aside millions of dollars for safety infrastructure and upgrades."

Budget 2008 provided $375 million for transportation infrastructure, which includes several initiatives to improve road safety.

The primary road safety initiatives this construction season are:

  • Approximately $2.5 million for line painting;
  • $465,000 for Road Weather Information System (RWIS) equipment and services to help monitor road conditions, such as black ice; and
  • $1 million for Weigh-In-Motion (WIM) sensors, to detect overweight vehicles on provincial highways.

Additionally, the Provincial Government has invested $760,000 to repair rutting and install median barriers on the Outer Ring Road in St. John�s to help reduce cross-median collisions, and approximately $250,000 to install rumble strips on 250 kilometres of the Trans-Canada Highway. Rumble strips are milled out sections outside the white shoulder line that alert inattentive drivers when they veer off the highway. As well, last fall the Williams Government purchased a $500,000 Automatic Road Analyzer (ARAN) vehicle, which measures pavement conditions.

To recognize Canada Road Safety Week, Minister Whalen was on hand to see rumble strips installed earlier today near Paddy�s Pond. The minister was joined by a representative from Humber Valley Paving, who will install the rumble strips in various locations throughout the province. Next to line painting, rumble strips have proven to be one of the most effective safety initiatives in highway design.

"The Provincial Government�s commitment to safety infrastructure is tremendous," said Minister Whalen. "Our many budget investments, from the latest technology to median barriers on the province�s busiest highway, clearly indicate our government is determined to help keep motorists from harm while travelling in this province.

"I�m hoping drivers will take the opportunity during Canada Road Safety Week to re-evaluate their personal driving habits and make a commitment to protect themselves and others on our roads."

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Media contact:

David Salter
Director of Communications
Department of Transportation and Works
709-729-3015, 691-3577

2008 05 12                                                 12:00 noon


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