Shift into Winter

An initiative to keep you safe and moving during the winter season, and the work we do to make sure you are.

A Winter Reminder: Don’t Pass Snow Plows with Flashing Lights

YELLOW FLASHING LIGHTS on a plow truck means it's plowing or sanding-3

It’s early in the winter driving season, and we’re all getting used to the white stuff again, but we’ve had a couple incidents lately where travellers have tried to pass snow plows on the right hand side while the plows are actively working. Don’t do this. Not only is passing an active plow dangerous for you, it’s dangerous for the plow operators and drivers around you. Be patient. Snow plow operators will pull over and let you pass as...

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How to Pack Your Vehicle Emergency Kit in 15 Seconds

Fifteen Seconds Emerg Kit

We all wish we had ultra-handy skills like MacGyver, right? Right. But let’s face it – we don’t. We cannot fashion a flashlight out of a pop bottle. Nor can we craft winter gloves out of the fluff between the seats. It’s just not going to happen. But an emergency on the road might happen, and you don’t want to be stuck in the cold wishing you had packed a winter emergency kit. It doesn’t take much effort. In...

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How to Measure Tire Tread Depth in 15 Seconds

How to Measure Tire Tread Depth in 15 Seconds

We want to show you how to measure your tires’ tread depth. It’s painless, quick and easy – heck, we were even able to fit it all in this 15-second video. Winter tires are important, but only if you have enough tread. Legally, you cannot have less than 3.5 mm (approximately 5/32 of an inch) on most highways in British Columbia between October 1 and March 31. If you barely have the legal minimum depth of tread, you should...

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Winter: the Good, the Bad, and the Driving Safely

Drive to Conditions

  There are several good things about winter… Hockey Toques Hot chocolate Tobogganing The scent of wood smoke But there are also several bad things about winter, and some of them have to do with driving. Black ice Dead batteries Reduced visibility Sudden weather changes Slush… cold, nasty slush… and the list goes on Whether it’s driving for work or shuttling the kids to early morning hockey practice, knowledge is power when it comes to reducing your risk of...

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Welcome to Fall in BC (as Seen on BC HighwayCams)

Peace View Rest Area

It’s official. Summer is gone and autumn is upon us. A quick look around our BC HighwayCams on DriveBC confirms it. What does the first day of fall look like in BC? It looks like gold at the Peace View Rest Area (above). Stay gold Peace View, stay gold… Fog has settled in at Wire Cache. Yes, that is snow at Heckman Summit in the Southern Interior. (Don’t sweat it – make the Shift into Winter now and you’ll...

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Unleashing the Snowcats: Clearing the Terrace-Kitimat Blizzard

Snowcat snapshot

How do you clear the roads when the amount of snowfall over 36 hours amounts to the height of the average Canadian adult? You get creative, and look to the ski hills. When 168 cm (5’6”) of snow fell in the Terrace-Kitimat area between February 5 and 7 (4pm-4am, 2015), local maintenance contractor Nechako Northcoast brought in heavy equipment from outside, such as graders, loaders, and three snowcats. Typically used on ski hills, these cool cats are designed to...

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How Well Do You Know the Coquihalla?

Highway 5

The Coquihalla is one of the most popular highway mountain passes in BC. You’ve probably driven it a few times, whether as a commuter or a BC traveller, or TONS of times as a commercial driver. But how well do you know this stretch of highway?

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6 Paths to Peace and Winter Safety on the Alaska Highway


Pass only when you are 100% sure it’s safe. This isn’t the best time. If you live or drive in the Peace region, you know that extra care and attention are needed in winter, when driving from Mile 54 (13 kilometres north of Fort St. John) to Mile 83 of the Alaska Highway. This section, considered a part of Highway 97, is a busy Peace Country route. Carrying local folks and truck traffic from the region’s busy oil and...

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What NOT to wear on the Coquihalla


It may be the 21st century, where almost anything goes as far as fashion is concerned…but don’t tell that to the Coquihalla. As far as this mountain pass is concerned, if you don’t show up for class in proper winter attire, you can prepare to get schooled. You see, mountain passes in B.C. subscribe to the “be prepared” school of fashion and they like to see their guests arrive properly dressed, to say the least. If not, you will...

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How to Drive Around Snow Plows in BC

BC Snow Plow

Pop quiz! You’re driving a two-lane highway after a fresh dumping of snow. You spot the flashing lights of a snow plow up ahead in the left lane. You… a) Speed up to get ready to pass in the right lane; b) Maintain speed until you settle in close behind the plow; c) Flash your high beams until the plow truck pulls over to let you pass; d) Keep your distance until the plow truck pulls over to allow...

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