Time to drive like it’s winter

On Monday morning, many Shuswap residents awoke to find another six inches or so of snow

On Monday morning, many Shuswap residents awoke to find another six inches or so of snow.

While it may have inspired grumbling, the additional snowfall didn’t appear to be the hindrance it was in the Lower Mainland.

Not to say we’re all heartier stock here in the Interior; we’re just used to seeing snow this time of year. Most of us know you have to plan ahead, be ready to shovel and drive according to winter road conditions. Not everyone drives to conditions, however, and accidents occur.

Historically, only after we’ve had a period of heavy winter weather accompanied by multiple  motor-vehicle collisions, has there been a tendency for people to speak up and demand action.

When the winter of 2014/15 brought with it numerous highway collisions and closures, the Columbia Shuswap Regional District and its local government partners lobbied the province for improvements. The province later responded with variable speed signs and a new avalanche control system in the Three Valley Gap area.

Sometimes, though, it’s difficult to tell whether complaints are being heard. In 2014, the City of Revelstoke asked the Ministry of Transportation for an improved level of maintenance along Highway #1 between Field and Salmon Arm, “with improved inspections by ministry staff, particularly when conditions are deteriorating.”

There were two motor-vehicle accidents last week, one near Sicamous and the other near Revelstoke, where police said snow and ice were factors. Maybe improved maintenance would have prevented them from occurring. Maybe not.

When winter road conditions hit, everyone needs to do their part to keep safe.