Victoria: The Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure reminds travellers to use extra caution on B.C. highways when travelling in the heavier traffic that comes with the holidays.
In the coming weeks, many British Columbians will be travelling to visit friends and family. It is important for everyone to plan ahead and drive according to the weather and road conditions. While maintenance crews strive to keep routes as safe as possible, conditions can change quickly at this time of year.
Winter tire regulations are in effect, and drivers are encouraged to get the best tires they can. People should ensure their vehicles have tires with the mountain/snowflake or mud and snow (M + S) symbol when travelling on designated routes.
For extreme winter weather conditions, tires with the mountain/snowflake symbol provide the best traction and handling. Crashes can be prevented when motorists are prepared and drive to conditions.
Here are some helpful tips for travelling in winter driving conditions:
- Check the weather forecast. If necessary, choose alternative routes or postpone travel until conditions are more favourable.
- Before you leave, check DriveBC.ca or @DriveBC on Twitter for current road conditions.
- More than 870 highway webcam views are available at over 450 locations throughout B.C.
- Wear comfortable clothing that does not restrict movement while driving. Bring warm clothing (winter boots, coat, gloves and hat) and a high visibility vest in case you need to get out of the vehicle.
- Have an emergency plan. Ensure your vehicle is equipped with a full tank of fuel, a windshield scraper and snow brush, food and water, a first-aid kit and other emergency supplies.
- If you get stuck or stranded, do not panic. Stay with your vehicle for safety and warmth. If you have a cellphone, call for roadside assistance. If there is an emergency, call 911.
Heavy snowfall can increase the risk of avalanches in some areas. This can lead to temporary highway closures, while ministry avalanche experts ensure conditions are safe for traffic to proceed. During these times, obey all traffic control personnel.