Time for Richmond drivers to 'Shift into Winter'

A lot more people get hurt in crashes when winter driving conditions set in.

With the launch of their 11th annual Shift into Winter campaign, the Winter Driving Safety Alliance is reminding drivers to drive safely and plan ahead for the upcoming winter weather in Richmond and across the Lower Mainland.

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According to a media release, speeding in winter conditions is to blame for an increase in casualties. Every year, an average of 236 people are hurt or killed in December because of winter conditions, up from 126 in October in B.C. – an 87 per cent increase.

Starting Oct. 1, passenger vehicles driving on select highways in B.C. need to have four-matched winter tires (three-peaked mountain and snowflake or mud and snow logos) with at least 3.5mm of tread depth, while commercial vehicles need to have chains.

“We’re pleased to be part of the Winter Driving Safety Alliance and help drivers prepare for winter driving in B.C.,” said Lindsay Matthews, vice-president of Public Affairs and Driver Licensing at ICBC.

“When severe winter weather hits, consider alternatives if available where you live – take public transit or a taxi, carpool with a confident driver whose vehicle is equipped for the conditions, work from home, or at least wait until the road crews have cleared major roads. Sometimes the best option is to leave the car at home,” Matthews added.

 The alliance is launching its 11th annual Shift into Winter campaign to get their safe driving message out at the same time winter tire laws come into effect.

Some safety tips that the alliance offers for motorists are:

  • Have a set of four-matched winter tires.
  • Make sure your vehicles have a pre-season maintenance checkup.
  • Keep an emergency kit in your vehicle.
  • Plan ahead for changes in driving conditions by checking road and weather conditions.
  • Slow down and drive with extra care.
  • Keep a safe distance between you and the vehicle in front.
  • Invest in winter driving training.

The Shift into Winter campaign is a province-wide initiative led by the Winter Driving Safety Alliance, which is a group of about 20 organizations.

For more information on the Shift into Winter campaign, visit ShiftIntoWinter.ca

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