Highway 27 from the junction at Highway 2 to Aberdeen is as idyllic a drive as you will see in the province, through lush rolling hills and acres of farmland with the communities of Prud’homme and Vonda en route. The stretch of road has seen a marked increase in traffic over the last few years as the primary detour for Highway 5 to Saskatoon through its construction. The situation caught the attention of area farmer, Joyce Jeanneau, as she’s been hauling grain from the Prud’homme area. It’s a message that’s an important one during harvest season and it’s one that resonates with SGI’s “Just Drive” campaign. 

“Because of the detour that redirects traffic down Highway 27, there’s a lot more traffic, and I think a bit of anxiousness with people wanting to pass.”

In the area near Prud’homme, a number of primary and secondary grid roads intersect with the highway. Each of those roads serves several farms, all of which are in the process of trucking grain and moving along Highway 27 from field to field. Occasional road dust can sometimes obscure the drivers’ vision, resulting in the need for added caution. Occasionally, the traffic slows in certain stretches, says Jeanneau, and motorists who may not be as familiar with the roadway need to have patience. 

“These trucks don’t stop on a dime,” she explains, “It takes a kilometre sometimes for trucks to get up to speed and sometimes reduce speed. The trucks are going onto the highway for a kilometre, maybe two, and then they’re turning off again. So they’re gaining speed and reducing speed. It makes for a bottleneck, and if you’re not paying attention, then you’re going to come across the rear end of a semi.”

Key intersections that are heavily used are located at Prud’homme and about two kilometres east of Prud’homme. Other junctions may see similar traffic patterns along the entire length. It’s not a situation that is unique to Highway 27 at this time of year. Similar semi and large truck traffic is a natural function of harvest across the province. Jeanneau wants all motorists to be extra attentive to their surroundings.

“It’s really important for them to understand that a loaded semi, or even an unloaded semi, does not go through all their gears in two seconds. It’s a lot of weight on a unit, and no matter how good we are at driving, you can not speed up and slow down in a short space.”

All farmers strive for a safe and productive harvest. Motorists on any highway in the province can certainly contribute by following the latest SGI mantra, “Just Drive.”