Posts Tagged ‘ winter ’

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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Watch How We Get Through Winter on the Coquihalla

The Coquihalla (BC Highway 5 from Hope to Merritt) is the province’s busiest mountain pass. At more than 1,200 metres in elevation, it’s also one of the routes hit hardest by heavy snowfall and other winter conditions. Fear not… we have a plan, and a team of professionals to execute what we call: The Coquihalla Snowshed Protocol. When the snow flies, the team carries out a series of steps to make sure you safely make it up and over...

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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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How to Keep Traffic Moving in Avalanche Country

  It looks like something out of Star Wars. Large metal towers dominating a vantage point over a frozen cliff face that suddenly drop explosives charges, triggering a wall of snow that cascades down the mountain. But this isn’t science fiction. It’s a new technology designed to make roads safer and cut down on traffic headaches. It’s called a Remote Avalanche Control System, or RACS, and this winter we’re piloting it along a stretch of the Trans-Canada Highway called...

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What it’s Like to Watch an Avalanche from a Helicopter

For most people, avalanches incite terror (for good reason!), and should be avoided at all times. But what is true for backcountry enthusiasts doesn’t apply to our ministry avalanche technicians. For them, uniting snow and gravity is a way of life – performed from a safe distance in the name of highway safety. Our crews recently captured video footage of two methods of avalanche control at separate ends of the province: Bear Pass and Kootenay Pass. And it’s pretty...

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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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Black Ice: What It Is and How to Handle It

winter conditions

Picture this. You’re driving your car on a northern highway in British Columbia. It’s just before 8 am on a frosty February morning. While the road appears bare, you do notice snow along the side of the highway as you drive. Should be clear sailing – right? Don’t be so sure. This is exactly when you should be on the lookout for black ice, so don’t let your winter driving guard down just yet. Even though our maintenance contractors...

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Know When to Slow for Weather With Variable Speed Signs

We’re big fans of the maxim: “drive to conditions.” Highway travellers improve their safety dramatically by following those three words, especially in winter. Our highway engineers set speed limits based on IDEAL driving conditions – think bare, dry roads and warm, clear weather. Once factors mess with these conditions – be it fog, rain, snow… whatever – drivers should adjust by slowing to a sensible speed. Now, you may have noticed crews installing new signs on sections of the...

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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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