Posts Tagged ‘ winter ’

15 Seconds to Safety: How to Identify a Winter Tire

We get questions about winter tires all the time. Well, not all the time – mostly in October when winter tire regulations go into effect on most BC highways until the end of March. Drivers want to know which tires are legally considered winter tires, and which tires provide maximum performance in cold, snow and ice. They also want to know how their vehicle is already equipped, so they can better decide if they need new tires. So, we...

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How to Avoid Being Pranked by Spring on the Coquihalla

winter driving conditions

Warning! Don’t let spring play an April Fools’ prank on you. Roadside signs state passenger vehicles are required to have winter tires, and commercial trucks must carry chains, on most BC highways between October 1 and March 31 (or to April 30, depending on the highway). However, that doesn’t mean winter tires and chains are never needed beyond those dates. Sometimes spring lets Old Man Winter outstay his welcome, especially on high elevation routes such as the Coquihalla. Professional...

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The Shocking Case of the Porthole Peeper

“I was in a hurry.” That was the excuse a Vancouver Island driver gave when one of our CVSE officers stopped him on the Malahat for driving with a mere “porthole” of snow cleared from his windshield. The officer issued the driver a $368 fine and didn’t let him continue driving without clearing all the snow off his vehicle. When we tweeted the photo, many of you were shocked: What’s worse, this isn’t just a one-off occurrence. Surrey RCMP...

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Watch How We Get Through Winter on the Coquihalla

 Having trouble viewing this video in your browser? Try watching it directly on our YouTube channel. The Coquihalla (BC Highway 5 from Hope to Merritt) is the province’s busiest mountain pass. At more than 1,200 metres in elevation, it’s also one of the routes hit hardest by heavy snowfall and other winter conditions. Fear not… we have a plan, and a team of professionals to execute what we call: The Coquihalla Snowshed Protocol. When the snow flies, the...

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What You Need to Know About Winter Weather on the “Coq”

We’ve heard from a few folks recently asking how they can travel the Coquihalla safely during the winter.  Apart from our usual recommendations for proper tires, checking DriveBC, keeping a full tank of gas and driving to conditions, we thought we could help travellers make better decisions around their travel by identifying some of the winter conditions found on the Coquihalla and explaining how they might impact travel. So, we asked our Weather Services Specialist, Simon Walker (who worked...

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Why Stopping Distances Matter More During the Winter

It’s pretty simple, really. Stopping distance is the distance it takes your vehicle to come to a complete stop once you apply your brakes. The faster you are travelling, the longer it will take you to come to a complete stop (and being able to stop your vehicle as quickly as possible when you need to is always a good thing). “Speed limits are for ideal driving conditions. Winter driving conditions are not ideal. Slow down and drive safely!”...

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How to Keep Traffic Moving in Avalanche Country

It looks like something out of Star Wars. Large metal towers dominating a vantage point over a frozen cliff face that suddenly drop explosives charges, triggering a wall of snow that cascades down the mountain. But this isn’t science fiction. It’s a new technology designed to make roads safer and cut down on traffic headaches. It’s called a Remote Avalanche Control System, or RACS, and this winter we’re piloting it along a stretch of the Trans-Canada Highway called Three...

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What it’s Like to Watch an Avalanche from a Helicopter

For most people, avalanches incite terror (for good reason!), and should be avoided at all times. But what is true for backcountry enthusiasts doesn’t apply to our ministry avalanche technicians. For them, uniting snow and gravity is a way of life – performed from a safe distance in the name of highway safety. Our crews recently captured video footage of two methods of avalanche control at separate ends of the province: Bear Pass and Kootenay Pass. And it’s pretty...

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