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RCMP advises public October Drive Relative to Conditions Month

As winter approaches and driving becomes more challenging, BC RCMP Traffic Services want people to be aware of things they can do to stay safe during their travels to avoid accidents like this one last winter near Grohman Narrows Park. — The Nelson Daily file photo

In a media release, BC RCMP Traffic Services are reminding drivers to be prepared for the changing, and sometimes challenging, driving conditions as the winter months near.

October is Drive Relative to Conditions month in BC and police will be out in force throughout the province stopping drivers and checking vehicles to ensure motorists are safe and vehicles are properly equipped to meet winter driving conditions.

The first day of October also begins the law where winter tires or chains are required on most routes in in the province, from October 1 to March 31.

For select highways, including mountain passes and rural routes in high snowfall areas, the date is extended until April 30 to account for early-spring snowfall.

“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.”

RCMP said according to provincial statistics, an average of 43 people die every year in BC in collisions where vehicles were being driven too fast for the road conditions.

As the daylight hours get shorter and the weather becomes more inclement, police are reminding motorists of a few things they can do to arrive safely at their destinations:

  1. Replace windshield wipers to improve visibility and clear all windows of fog/ice and snow before driving;
  2. Clean your vehicle’s windows in and out, use air conditioning at a comfortable temperature so windows don’t fog up, and consider applying products to the exterior glass that repels water to improve visibility;
  3. Check your tires to ensure they are in good condition, have sufficient tread depth and are properly inflated. Winter tread (including M&S tires) are required in BC between October 1st and March 31st;
  4. Turn your headlights to the On or Auto position – this ensures your tail lights come on as well so you can be seen from behind. Make sure all your lights, signals and brake lights are fully functional;
  5. Do not use cruise control on wet/snowy/slippery road surfaces;
  6. Increase the distance between you and vehicles ahead to give yourself more time to stop, especially if it is raining/snowing/slippery/foggy/night time;
  7. Slow down especially if it is raining/snowing/foggy or any other time your visibility is limited. Posted speed limits assume ideal driving conditions;
  8. Be extra vigilant for cyclists and pedestrians who may be unpredictable and not clearly visible;
  9. Watch out for black ice as temperatures drop to freezing; and
  10. Give yourself extra time to get to your destination.

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, says 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.

Motorists can expect to see an increased police presence on our highways throughout the province during this enhanced enforcement campaign and may experience short delays. Police are asking motorists to drive safely, and obey the directions of Officers at any check-stop.