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.

The Shocking Case of the Porthole Peeper

“I was in a hurry.” That was the excuse a Vancouver Island driver gave when one of our CVSE officers stopped him on the Malahat for driving with a mere “porthole” of snow cleared from his windshield. The officer issued the driver a $368 fine and didn’t let him continue driving without clearing all the snow off his vehicle. When we tweeted the photo, many of you were shocked: What’s worse, this isn’t just a one-off occurrence. Surrey RCMP...

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What You Need to Know About Winter Weather on the “Coq”

We’ve heard from a few folks recently asking how they can travel the Coquihalla safely during the winter.  Apart from our usual recommendations for proper tires, checking DriveBC, keeping a full tank of gas and driving to conditions, we thought we could help travellers make better decisions around their travel by identifying some of the winter conditions found on the Coquihalla and explaining how they might impact travel. So, we asked our Weather Services Specialist, Simon Walker (who worked...

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Why Stopping Distances Matter More During the Winter

It’s pretty simple, really. Stopping distance is the distance it takes your vehicle to come to a complete stop once you apply your brakes. The faster you are travelling, the longer it will take you to come to a complete stop (and being able to stop your vehicle as quickly as possible when you need to is always a good thing). “Speed limits are for ideal driving conditions. Winter driving conditions are not ideal. Slow down and drive safely!”...

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Everything You Need to Know about East Kootenay Highway Winter Maintenance Specifications

Mainroad, our maintenance contractor in the East Kootenay service area, works hard every day to keep local highways safe and traffic moving smoothly. Because the area is so geographically diverse, they can face any number of unique challenges where highway maintenance is concerned, especially during winter. In order to make sure they understand exactly what is expected of them in their day to day operations, we outline our maintenance requirements of them in great detail. We recently updated our...

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Learn All About Winter Maintenance Changes on Route to East Kootenay Highways

Have you ever wondered how maintenance contractors plan their approach to winter maintenance? Schedule their work around storm conditions? Or how about, what kind of equipment they have at the ready to keep BC highways safe? Mainroad East Kootenay Contracting will be holding open house sessions to share this kind of information about updates to their winter operations and how they plan to use new technology to improve service levels and public safety in their service area at the...

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How Maintenance Contractors Are Rescuers at the Ready

Ministry maintenance contractors spend a lot of time on the road in winter – but it’s not just about plowing and sanding. Should an unexpected avalanche cover an open highway, these workers are nearby and ready to help. Every year, our ministry avalanche technicians deliver search and rescue training to maintenance contractors who work on BC highways, located below some 1,388 avalanche paths. The training also includes: the contractor’s typical role of closing a route for avalanche control work...

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Is Your Impatience a Safety Concern on the Coq?

There’s an essential rule about sharing the road with snowplows: NEVER pass them on the right. This winter, there have been 11 collisions between cars and snowplows, on one BC highway alone. That’s a lot of crashes and a lot of stress, grief and costs for a lot of people! Check out this video, featuring VSA Highway Maintenance, our contractor responsible for the Coquihalla Highway. The reason why you don’t want to pass an operating plow on the right,...

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The Coquihalla Snowshed Protocol: 10 Steps to Highway Safety

BC Highway 5 from Hope to Merritt (also known as the Coquihalla or “the Coq”) is a busy transportation corridor through a high mountain pass, and because of this high elevation, the Coquihalla can experience periods of heavy snowfall. Don’t let that worry you though – VSA Highway Maintenance, our maintenance contractor for the route, has a plan. It’s called “the Coquihalla Snowshed Protocol” and it’s every bit as important as it sounds. What exactly is the protocol and...

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15 Seconds to Safety: Clearing Snow Off Your Vehicle

When we asked you about your winter driving pet peeves, one of the most common responses was drivers who don’t clear their entire vehicle of snow. We’ve all seen those rolling snowballs with only the front (and maybe the rear) windows having been touched by a snow brush. There are a couple reasons why drivers who don’t clear their vehicles peeve people off. With no line of sight out the side windows or mirrors, the guilty driver has an...

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Holiday Songs of Highway Safety

Christmas Cheer

The holiday season: a tradition of giving, family gatherings, caroling… oh so much singing (even if there isn’t a lot of “in tune.”) But, who cares?!? ‘Tis the season! So we thought it would be a great occasion to share the TranBC version of some of those tunes, for you to enjoy regardless of your singing abilities (and not a bad way to remind folks about some of their travel information resources). Happy Holidays!

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