Motorists are urged to use caution when hitting the roads this Thanksgiving long weekend.
Whether you’re traveling across town or across the province, officials are reminding you to take the right precautions for a safe trip. Although we haven’t seen the white stuff hit the asphalt just yet, some stretches of the highway could bring much different conditions this weekend.
Corrin Peet with the Northern Region of the Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure says conditions are always changing. “In the North we can expect anything from rain to snow and drivers are expected and should slow down and drive to those conditions.”
Snow has already hit parts of Highway 97 along the Pine Pass. Al Steinhauser with the North District RCMP says officers will monitor specific areas to prevent crashes. “You’re going to see a lot more police cars in and around Prince George and the surrounding cities,” he said. “Main focus again is to make sure everybody obeys the rules of the roads, slows down, and gets there safely.”
According to ICBC, last year’s Thanksgiving long weekend saw 22 injuries as a result of 150 crashes in North Central B-C. With the first snowfall of the season expected in some parts of the province, officials say safe driving starts with staying prepared. Peet urges drivers to know their route before they leave. “We really encourage drivers to check Drive BC before they head out and know before you go, check your local forecast, and check the forecast of where you’re headed.”
When it comes to winterizing your vehicle, Steinhauser emphasized the use of proper winter tires. “Check your tires before you go, make sure that they do have the snowflake emblem on them and check the tread depth. Tread depth for winter tires should be minimum 4.7 millimetres deep.
A fully functioning car is a good first step, but the RCMP says being prepared starts with you. Mounties are asking drivers to stay off their phones and watch their speed. “One fatal is one too many on the roadways, it will impact everybody, right from the investigating officer to the ones left behind,” Steinhauser said. “Slow down, get there in one piece, it’s called Thanksgiving long weekend for a weekend, lets be thankful to get there in one piece.”