The number of fatal traffic collisions in our province is down from the previous 10-year average, according to preliminary statistics from SGI.
There were 129 on-road deaths in 2018. That's a drop from an average of 142 deaths in the years between 2008 and 2017. There were 306 deaths in 1974.
This is great news to share with everyone who drives our roads and highways, especially with the people in our industry. The work we do not only impacts our provincial economy through trading and exporting of products, but also it improves safety for those who drive our highways.
Thank you to the Saskatchewan government for continuing to invest in important infrastructure – more than $706 million to the Ministry of Highways in the 2019–20 provincial budget. The government also invested $20 million in safety improvements across the provincial highway network in 2019–20. Officials said the budget will see improvements to more than 60 intersections.
We have seen significant improvements over the past few years to many of our highways. A 10-kilometre twinning project on Highway 39 east of Estevan opened in 2018. This stretch of highway sees about 6,000 vehicles daily.
Over the years, we have heard too many tragic stories of fatalities along this busy corridor in the southeast. This is why Highway 39 will see 16 sets of passing lanes added in the highest traffic volume areas along this stretch and on Highway 6.
This project also includes twinning of short segments of the corridor south of Regina, north of Milestone and south of Weyburn – approximately 51 kilometres of pavement and improving intersections and highway entrances and exits.
Further north, about 13 kilometres of new constructed lanes of Highway 7 east of Delisle to Vanscoy opened to traffic in July 2018. It is the second phase of a plan to twin about 34 kilometres of highway west of Saskatoon.
Like Highway 39 in our southeast, Highway 7 is an important trade route for our province.
North of Saskatoon, we’ve seen major improvements on the highways connecting that city to bustling communities like Warman and Martensville.
Safety will always be a top priority on our roads and highways. Those within our industry should be proud of the work they do knowing that it contributes to many key elements to our province’s wellbeing, namely safety.