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​ICBC & police: Northern B.C. drivers need to adjust to challenging conditions

November 5, 2015


In the North Central region, speed-related crashes that result in injury or fatality increase by over 110 per cent between November and January – totalling 45 crashes each of these months.*

Driving too fast for the road conditions is a factor in most speed related crashes.** That's why ICBC and police are appealing to northern B.C. drivers to adjust their driving for the road conditions they encounter. In poor weather, slow down, increase your following distance and allow extra travel time.

Throughout November, police across B.C. will be looking for drivers travelling at unsafe speeds.

Top 5 tips for northern B.C. drivers:

  1. Ice and snow can hit unexpectedly so make sure your tires are rated for the conditions you'll be driving in this winter. Check your tire pressure regularly – pressure drops in cold weather and overinflated tires can reduce gripping.

  2. When severe winter conditions arrive, consider alternatives – take public transit if possible, carpool with a confident driver whose vehicle is equipped for the conditions, take a taxi, work from home or wait until the road crews have cleared major roads. Sometimes the best option is to leave the car at home.

  3. 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.

  4. Clear off any snow that's built up on your vehicle's headlights and wheel wells before driving; it can affect your ability to see and steer.

  5. In poor weather, use extreme caution when approaching highway maintenance vehicles on the road and never pass on the right. Be patient and maintain a safe following distance – these vehicles throw up snow and spray which can make it difficult to see.


"We are now into the fall, and that means the days get darker earlier, and motorists can often experience bad weather conditions," said Todd Stone, Minister of Transportation and Infrastructure. "Therefore, it's really important that motorists remember to adjust their driving speed accordingly, and slow down when they encounter bad weather, such as rain, snow, or fog. It's also important to leave lots of following distance between vehicles, and to stay alert at the wheel."

"Keeping our roads safe is a shared effort between government, enforcement, and most importantly, drivers," said Suzanne Anton, Minister of Justice and Attorney General. "Especially during these months of challenging and rapidly changing driving conditions, it is paramount that drivers remember that speed limits are set for ideal driving conditions. In times of bad visibility or hazardous driving conditions, drivers need to lower their speeds, remain focused on the roads, and avoid distractions while driving."

"Speeding is the leading cause of fatal car crashes in our province," said Chief Constable Neil Dubord, Chair of the B.C. Association of Chiefs of Police Traffic Safety Committee. "Drivers need to adjust their driving and ensure their vehicles are prepared for fall and winter conditions. Posted speed limits are set for ideal driving conditions only. Police are out across B.C. looking for drivers travelling at unsafe speeds."

"With worsening weather across our province, it's important to adjust your driving for the road conditions you encounter," said Lindsay Matthews, ICBC's director responsible for road safety. "In poor weather, slow down, increase your following distance and allow extra travel time. Watch for pedestrians and cyclists who are harder to see at this time of year."

*Crashes where at least one person was injured or killed. Percentage change based on monthly average that compares November, December and January to the remaining 9 months of the year. Crash counts based on monthly average from November to January. Police data (2009 to 2013).

**Seven out of ten speed related crashes are related to driving too fast for the road conditions. Police data (2009 to 2013).


Media contact:
Lindsay Olsen