As summer and autumn fade from our rear view mirrors, BC RCMP Traffic Services reminds drivers to prepare for the changing driving conditions as winter months near.
October is Drive Relative to Conditions month in B.C. and police will be out in force throughout the province, stopping drivers and checking vehicles to make sure motorists are safe and vehicles are properly equipped to meet winter driving conditions.
“As winter approaches and driving becomes more challenging, we want people to be aware of things they can do to stay safe during their travels,” said Cpl. Mike Halskov of BC RCMP Traffic Services.
“Ultimately, we want to minimize collisions, injuries and fatalities on our roadways in our ongoing effort to make our roadways safer for all road users.”
According to provincial statistics, an average of 43 people die every year in B.C. in collisions where vehicles were being driven too fast for road conditions.
As daylight hours get shorter and weather inclement, police remind motorists of a few things that can be done to arrive safely at their destinations like replacing windshield wipers to improve visibility and clearing all windows of fog, ice and snow before driving.
Clean vehicle windows in and out, use air conditioning at a comfortable temperature so windows don’t fog up, and consider applying products to the outside glass that repels water to improve visibility.
Check tires to make sure they’re in good condition, have sufficient tread depth and are properly inflated; winter tread (including M&S tires) are required in B.C. between Oct. 1 and March 31.
Turn headlights to the “On” or “Auto” position – this makes sure tail lights come on as well, so one can be seen from behind. Also make sure all lights, signals and brake lights are fully functional.
Don’t use cruise control on wet, snowy or slippery road surfaces and increase the distance between the vehicles ahead to give more stopping time, especially if it’s raining, snowing, slippery, foggy or night time.
Slow down, especially if it’s raining, snowing or foggy, or any other time your visibility is limited; posted speed limits also assume ideal driving conditions.
Be extra watchful for cyclists and pedestrians who may be unpredictable and not clearly visible.
Watch out for “black ice” as temperatures drop to freezing and give extra time to get to your destination.
Motorists can expect to see more police on the highways throughout the province during this enforcement campaign and may experience short delays.
Police are asking motorists to drive safely, and obey the directions of officers at any check-stop.