Argo hosts winter awareness meeting

Do not pass snowplows on the right. That seemed to be the main message for the public

Three snow plow trucks work together to plow a section of highway near Kamloops. The photo illustrates the danger of passing a snow plow on the right. Even passing on the left is often not worth the risk

Do not pass snowplows on the right.

That seemed to be the main message for the public from a presentation given by Justin Van Iterson, Argo operations manager to a winter awareness meeting with stakeholders held recently in Little Fort.

Not only is the practice illegal but it’s also dangerous, Van Iterson pointed out.

“Approximately 90 – 95 per cent of Argo’s plow trucks are outfitted with a wing,” he said. “This plow sticks Argo service areaout on the right side of the truck. It is marked with flashing lights and flags. However, in heavy snow conditions it can still be difficult to see.”

Last winter, VSA Highways Maintenance, which clears the roads in the Merritt area, had 11 plow trucks hit. Argo had one flipped a couple of years ago when it was hit by a commercial vehicle passing on the right. Lakes District Maintenance out of Valemount had one plow truck hit the season before last.

“Please be patient and allow plow trucks to pull over or reach an interchange,” Van Iterson asked.

Getting drivers to slow down and move over for vehicles with flashing lights while they are working or stopped on the shoulder of the road was another priority.

It’s the law plus it’s common sense.

Emergency vehicles, tow trucks and maintenance crews all fall under these regulations, the Argo spokesperson said.

During the 10 year period from 2004 to 2013, 239 workers have been hit by motor vehicles while working beside or on the road. Of these, 15 have died.

Drivers face a $173 ticket plus three penalty points for failing to slow down and move over.

Harvey Nelson, Argo’s general manager, clarified that the company is under no legal obligation to turn off the plow truck’s spinners when meeting other vehicles.

Crews are encouraged to turn spinners down whenever possible when meeting other vehicles. However, Argo is also required to restore traction to the road. Not applying winter abrasive can create dangerous conditions for other drivers, he pointed out.

Argo hosts winter awareness meetings with stakeholders every fall to prepare for winter, discuss any winter concerns and so those involved can familiarize themselves with each other.

Those attending the Little Fort meeting included representatives from Clearwater RCMP, District of Clearwater, District of Barriere, Lakes District Maintenance, and contractors such as Clearwater Towing and On Call Towing.

Inset graphic: Map shows the area from south of Kamloops to northeast of Vavenby that Argo Road Maintenance services.

Just Posted

PHOTOS: No fear

Youngsters swim in Dutch Lake just a few days after the ice goes off

Theft at Mt. Timothy latest challenge for local ski hill

Society president Mike Kidston still hoping local politicians will support referendum on funding

New picnic shelter for Dutch Lake beach

Construction should be completed next week

UPDATE: Truck driver dead after semi goes off Highway 5 near Vavenby

No other persons or vehicles involved in crash, which occurred early Tuesday morning

Surrey man dead after semi-truck goes off road near Vavenby

The truck driver was the lone occupant of the trailer traveling from Blue River

Lt.-Gov. Guichon believes she made the right decision in last B.C. election

Outgoing Lt.-Gov Judith Guichon said her most memorable moments weren’t surrounding the election

How to keep local news visible in your Facebook feed

Facebook has changed the news feed to emphasize personal connections. You might see less news.

NAFTA: Talks continue through weekend in scramble to get a deal

Foreign Affairs Minister Chrystia Freeland called negotiations ‘perpetual’

Pulp mill fined $900,000 for leaking effluent into B.C. lake

Mackenzie Pulp Mill pleaded guilty to depositing deleterious substance into water frequented by fish

B.C.’s 2-year lobbying ban starts May 1

Office of the Registrar of Lobbyists can grant exemptions from the prohibition if public interest

Horgan speaks of government’s successes to ‘friends’ at CUPE BC convention

CUPE BC president Paul Faoro said was first time a B.C. premier addressed convention in some time

Speed Skating Canada fires coach Michael Crowe after investigation

Crowe was a coach on the American team from 1983 to 1991 and again from 1999 to 2006

5 things to know about the ongoing influx of asylum seekers in Canada

Number of illegal border crossings are up this year – as RCMP, military, politicians try to combat

Time to let go for BC bears, otters, bobcat

Northern Lights Wildlife shelter near Smithers set to release orphaned animals this spring.

Most Read