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ICBC and police warn northern B.C. drivers of challenging road conditions

October 28, 2014

With snowfall forecasted in many northern B.C. communities this week, ICBC and police are warning drivers to be prepared for the challenges of driving in the fall and winter and adjust their driving to the road conditions they encounter.

Every October, there is an average of 24 crashes resulting in injuries or death due to driving too fast for the conditions in the North Central region. That number nearly doubles to 44 in December as driving conditions worsen.*

Police and Speed Watch volunteers in northern B.C. are looking for drivers travelling at unsafe speeds now and throughout November. In poor conditions, slow down, increase your following distance and give yourself plenty of time to get to your destination.


“When you’re driving in wet, icy or snowy weather, slow down and increase your following distance so you have time to react to the unexpected,” said Todd Stone, Minister of Transportation and Infrastructure. “Always check before heading out so you’re prepared for the road conditions ahead.”

“Speeding is the leading cause of fatal car crashes in B.C.,” said Chief Officer Neil Dubord, Chair of the B.C. Association of Chiefs of Police Traffic Safety Committee. “Seven out of ten speed-related crashes are related to driving too fast for the road conditions. That’s why police are out across B.C. looking for drivers travelling too fast for the conditions.”

“Snowy, icy conditions can seriously reduce visibility on our roads and make it difficult to stop and steer,” said John Dickinson, ICBC’s director of road safety. “In poor weather, slow down, increase your following distance to at least four seconds and give yourself plenty of time to get to your destination.”


  • Consider using your headlights whenever weather is poor and visibility is reduced – not only at night – to help you see ahead and be seen by other drivers.

  • Ice and snow can hit unexpectedly. Early in the season, make sure your tires are rated for the conditions you may be driving in and check your tire pressure regularly – pressure drops in cold weather and overinflated tires can reduce gripping.

  • When severe winter conditions arrive, consider alternatives to help you get to work safely – take transit is possible, work from home or adjust your hours of work to avoid rush hour traffic. If you will be driving, visit to check road conditions for your entire route and for possible road closures.

  • In extreme temperatures, keep your gas tank at least half-full to prevent freezing, top up your windshield wiper fluid and pack an emergency kit in your vehicle in case you get stranded or stuck. Clear off any snow that has accumulated on your vehicle so that it doesn’t fall off while driving.

*ICBC data from 2009 to 2013.

Media contact
Michelle Hargrave