BCTA, Safety Groups Launch ‘Get A Grip’ Winter Safety Campaign
January 1, 2009
LANGLEY, B. C. - The B. C. Trucking Association (BCTA), in partnership with both public and private organizations in the province, is promoting a seasonal driving preparedness campaign aimed at reduci...
LANGLEY, B. C. – The B. C. Trucking Association (BCTA), in partnership with both public and private organizations in the province, is promoting a seasonal driving preparedness campaign aimed at reducing both weather-related crashes and road closures on B. C.’s mountain highways this winter.
The “Get a Grip” campaign is intended to educate drivers of both passenger and commercial vehicles, create awareness of road maintenance issues, and promote cooperation among all those who travel and work on B. C.’s sometimes treacherous winter roads, according to Shelley McGuinness, the BCTA communications specialist.
This year’s campaign will encourage drivers to “get a grip” by highlighting the advantages of using winter tires for increased traction and control in severe winter conditions. The program is also encouraging travellers -and in particular, commercial drivers -to plan in advance for winter travel by taking advantage of the DriveBC Web site ( www.drivebc.ca).It’s a Ministry of Transportation service that provides information on weather, traffic incidents and current highway conditions.
“A useful DriveBC feature is a related e-mail notification system that alerts subscribers to road closures or traffic delays, including a confidence- level rating for clearance, and allows dispatchers and drivers to avoid problem routes,” says McGuinness.
DriveBC also provides a link to information on B. C.’s chain-up locations and regulations on its home page. The BCTA advises that outside of the Lower Mainland and Vancouver Island, trucks and buses over 27,000 kg GVWs are required to either use winter tires or carry chains between Oct. 1 and Apr. 30. To encourage compliance with chain-up regulations, increases to the size of chain-up areas are continually being evaluated with input from BCTA members and maintenance contractors, states McGuinness.
The BCTA and the B. C. highway maintenance contractors are also asking the transport industry to help keep the province’s roads safe by reporting hazardous driving conditions, including debris, dead animals, fallen trees, defective signs, bridge damage, pot holes, flooding, washouts, mudslides, avalanches, as well as snow and ice.
“Most people, including commercial drivers, don’t know that they can help keep highways safe by directly reporting problems when they come across them,” says McGuinness.
Highway maintenance emergency contact numbers for reporting hazards and other highway related issues are available on the Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure Web site.
BCTA has also created a PDF version of the list as a handout for drivers, which is available on its Web site (www.bctrucking.com).
The Ministry advises that assistance in this matter not only facilitates the quick mobilization of maintenance crews, it is also relayed by contractors to DriveBC for incident reports on its Web site and the Travellers Information Reports sent out to subscribers via e-mail. In other words: one call alerts a network.
To receive e-mail notifications about highway incidents, including regional information, drivers are being encouraged to subscribe to DriveBC’s Travellers’ Information System, at www.drivebc.ca.