Motorists urged to slow down in wintry weather
Greasy roads and steady snowfall through Monday have local OPP bracing for crashes and fender-benders like this one Friday on Cedar Street in Simcoe. With conditions less than ideal for driving, the OPP ask motorists to slow down, give snow plows lots of space, and drive with extra caution until conditions improve. MONTE SONNENBERG / SIMCOE REFORMER
A weekend of steady snowfall had police bracing for several days of collisions, fender benders and motorists stranded in cold weather after sliding into the ditch.
Haldimand and Norfolk OPP expected to be hopping from incident to incident over the weekend. However, police say their workload and the inconvenience to affected motorists would be much reduced if everyone followed a few simple precautions.
“OPP encourage motorists to respond to adverse and rapidly changing road conditions by reducing speed and leaving extra space to adjust to reduced braking ability on icy, snowy roads,” Const. Ed Sanchuk of the Norfolk OPP said Friday in a news release.
“Weather changes, particularly during the winter, can occur suddenly and dramatically. Sudden storms and plunging temperatures can drastically change road conditions and reduce visibility. Driving defensively and responsibly during the winter months will ensure you and your loved ones will reach your destination safely.”
Police offer the following tips to make this a safe weekend of winter motoring:
• Give snow plows plenty of room. Do not pass snow plows and do not get between snow plows that are travelling in tandem or in groups.
“We want drivers to understand that passing snow plows can result in dangerous collisions,” Insp. Lisa Anderson, interim commander of the Norfolk OPP, said in a news release. “Be patient. They are clearing the road to assist in safer travel.”
• Do not shovel or blow snow onto sidewalks or onto the street. The latter is especially dangerous as it could cause a temporary loss of visibility, resulting in a collision or worse. Blowing or shovelling snow onto a roadway is against the law in Ontario and will trigger a fine where police find evidence of it.
• Invest time in visibility. That means completely removing accumulated snow, frost and ice from windshields, rear windows and side windows. Snow should also be cleared from headlights and signal lights. Remove snow that is caked on your trunk, roof and hood so it doesn’t blow off and blind passing motorists or yourself as you travel down the open road. Ensure there is adequate weather-rated wiper fluid in your reservoir to keep your windshield crystal clear, especially on long trips.
“The more you can see, the safer you will be,” Sanchuk says. “The ability to see clearly out of your vehicle is vital to safe driving. After all, if you can’t see it, how can you avoid it?”