REGINA — The province that brought you medicare, Joni Mitchell and Corner Gas has just wrapped up another pilot project involving truckers and it was such a hit they’re going to keep it going when need be.
The project was the Saskatchewan Highway Hotline; a road-conditions-information service that relies on information from the people who know it best: truck drivers.
It worked like this.
For most of the winter that just ended, Saskatoon-based Ridsdale Transport Ltd. partnered with the Ministry of Highways and Infrastructure to provide road condition information on 12 of their Saskatchewan routes, between the hours of 8:00 p.m. and 8:00 a.m.
Ridsdale drivers called in road conditions when they were at a terminal, switch point, or other normal stop along their route. (If extreme conditions warranted it, they’d make extra calls, too.)
Calls were made to their regular dispatcher who sent a report to the Highway Hotline office, which was manned 24 hours a day, seven days a week during the winter months.
The first season of the project wrapped up April 29th and will resume when the snow flies again.
Conditions were reported on Highway 1 between Swift Current and the Manitoba border, Highway 6 between Regina and Melfort, Highway 10 between Regina and Yorkton, Highway 11 between Regina and Saskatoon, Highway 16 between Saskatoon and Lloydminster, and Highway 41 between Saskatoon and Melfort.
“Our drivers and our company are on board with this project because it’s simple, it makes sense, and provides an important public service to our fellow motorists,” Ridsdale Transport Ltd. Director of Operations Wayne Kowalyshyn said.
“We’re excited to have this new pilot project up and running with a Saskatchewan trucking firm that is dedicated to providing valuable information to Highway Hotline users,” Highways and Infrastructure Minister Jim Reiter said. “It’s a new way to enhance service and provide better information for all motorists.”
“The Saskatchewan Trucking Association (STA) is very supportive of any initiative to make our highways safer,” STA Executive Director Al Rosseker said. “We are pleased Ridsdale Transport and the Ministry of Highways and Infrastructure were able to come together to make it happen.”
Now, in typical Canadian fashion, the rest of the country will probably want to follow suit.
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