RICHMOND, B.C. – With winter fast approaching – and already a reality in some areas of Western Canada – the Winter Driving Safety Alliance (WDA) is urging truckers and all motorists to drive smart this snow season through its “Shift into Winter” campaign.
Starting Oct. 1, the majority of B.C. highways, particularly mountain passes, require truck drivers to carry chains, while passenger vehicles must have winter tires.
WorkSafeBC is a member of the WDA, and Darrin McCaskill, director of programs, projects, and initiatives, said it’s better to be early than late when it comes to preparing for winter driving.
“Every day, hundreds of British Columbians drive on our roads for work – tow trucks, taxis, transports, delivery vans and buses,” said McCaskill. “Organizations need to prepare now, before weather conditions deteriorate, by winterizing their safety plans, assessing and addressing risks and ensuring that workers and contractors are instructed on safe driving procedures. There are a number of resources on the Shift into Winter website. WorkSafeBC can also be contacted through its prevention line, 1-888-621-7233.”
WDA said each year the number of casualties caused by collisions from driving too fast for conditions doubles in December compared to October, with 246 police-attended collisions from 2013-17 in December and 123 during the same timeframe in October.
WorkSafeBC data also shows that 28% of work-related collisions resulting in time-loss claims occur during the months of November, December, and January.
Drivers are encouraged to plan their route, get training, slow down, and be prepared when winter driving in B.C.
Employers and supervisors are also legally required to ensure the safety of their workers who operate commercial vehicles for business purposes.
“We want everyone to drive safely and get home to their families this winter,” said Claire Trevena, minister of Transportation and Infrastructure. “Safe winter driving is a shared responsibility, and I urge people do their part by using good winter tires, planning ahead by checking DriveBC, slowing down and driving to conditions.”