The city’s first snowfall may be in the rearview mirror, but for some drivers it served as a hard reminder of how important it is to plan ahead and be prepared.
The recent Thursday-to-Sunday flurries came with multiple crashes and road closures in Kamloops, and sent a clear message to drivers: if you don’t have your winter tires on yet, now is the time.
On Monday, Nov. 7 and 8, the Kamloops RCMP Municipal Traffic Unit hit the pavement to help spread that message and educate drivers on being prepared for the weather.
“Most people have mud and snow or snowflake tires, which is legal, but not necessarily ideal,” said Cpl. Wayne Chung of the Kamloops RCMP Municipal Traffic Unit.
“Dedicated winter tires are always the best choice, but making sure those tires are in good condition is also important.”
Chung also reminded motorists, especially commercial drivers, of the importance of knowing their routes ahead of time, anticipating weather changes, and having their chains on before they hit the hills that require them.
Last week, many people encountered traffic delays because vehicles were stuck and blocking the roadways.
“While tires and planning are important, so is adjusting your speed for the weather conditions,” said Chung.
“Being overconfident in poor road conditions or trying to get somewhere fast will not necessarily get you where you want to be.”
Speed limits are posted for ideal driving conditions only. He said just because someone is doing 60 kms in an 80 km/hr zone doesn’t mean they’re going slow enough for the conditions; they can still end up with a ticket — especially if they crash and everyone around them is driving more slowly.
“And people need to be honest with themselves,” added Chung.
“If you’re not comfortable driving, maybe stay home or at your workplace for the duration of the poor weather conditions, then head home once the roadways have been plowed.”
Tips for safe winter driving include:
Get your vehicle ready for winter in the fall.
Don’t drive under the influence.
Pack an emergency kit.
Learn and practice winter driving techniques before you need them.
Plan your trip and tell your friends and family your route. Check road and weather conditions.
Remove all snow from your vehicle before each trip.
Give yourself extra travel time in bad weather.
Avoid using overdrive and cruise control on slippery roads.
Travel with a fully charged cell phone for emergency situations.
SLOW DOWN and WEAR your seatbelt.
For more tips on seasonal road safety, visit the BC RCMP website (https://bc-cb.rcmp-grc.gc.ca/ViewPage.action?siteNodeId=2085&languageId=1&contentId=27525).