Thinking winter safety

Drivers are encouraged to think about safety on the roads this winter.

Winter will soon be her. Some will be happy to see it arrive, others, not so much.

The reality is that at some point in the near future, there is going to be snow on the mountains.

“We don’t go longer than a week without a call for a motor vehicle accident of some kind,” said Constable Chris Carruthers of the RCMP.

West Kootenay Traffic Services and Nelson Integrate Road Safety Unit (IRSU) would like people to be prepared. One main safety issue for travelling in the winter is winter tires. As of Oct. 1, you must have your winter tires on when travelling through the mountains.

A winter tire is a tire that has either a three-peaked symbol, or has the letter M and S, with a tread depth of no less than 3.5 mm.

Speed is another factor to take into account in an area like Nakusp. Because the roads are more winding, drivers are have to watch their speeds a little closer, especially around some of the sharper turns.

Carruthers also said different kinds of snow can affect road conditions as well.

“My last post was in the north (Fort Nelson) and in the north, it’s a lot of drier, fluffier snow, so you can get away with higher speeds. Here, it’s dense, it’s heavy, and it’s wet, so it’s a lot more of a slushy consistency.”

Drivers should also carry extra items like safety equipment, food, and blankets when travelling in winter. Drivers should also tell someone where they are going.

Headlights are another safety concern. If a car was manufactured after 1990, it must have daytime running lights. These should be checked, because in many vehicles, the module burns out and people don’t realize it.