Column: Ice and snow … take it slow

With freezing rain, ice, snow and slippery roads — driving in winter conditions can be both challenging and frustrating.

With freezing rain, ice, snow and slippery roads — driving in winter conditions can be both challenging and frustrating.

The roads and highways in the Cariboo not only help us travel to our destinations — they also serve as the ‘workplace’ for emergency personnel and road maintenance crews who remove debris, repair traffic signals, and sand, salt and plow during weather conditions like the ones we have experienced lately.

As of Jan. 1, ‘Slow Down Move Over’ protection is extended to all vehicles with red, blue or yellow flashing lights stopped on the side of the road, to signal that there are people working nearby.

On a highway, that means dropping your vehicle’s speed to 70 kilometres an hour or slower.

If the speed limit is 70 kilometres per hour or less, drop to 40 kilometres an hour or slower.

Slowing down gives drivers more time to react in the event that more defensive action is required, helping keep workers safe and setting an example for other drivers to follow.

During the recent snowstorm, I saw firsthand the generosity of pedestrians and motorists who helped those that were stuck in the snow. I saw neighbours shovel each other’s driveways and use patience and caution when driving our roads.

Planning and preparedness are so important.

When you are travelling, please take the time to plan your route, ensure you have adequate snow or seasonal tires, and continue to slow down and pay attention to your distance, speed and vision while being respectful of roadside workers.

Keeping our roads safe is a shared responsibility. Every worker, pedestrian and motorist in our community and across the province deserves to get home safely to their families. Please slow down for them.

Donna Barnett is the Liberal MLA for Cariboo-Chilcotin.

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