Your Choices Can Make a Difference
Unlike other areas of Canada where snowfall is a part of daily life from mid-November to March, BC's Lower Mainland has large variations in snowfall amounts from year-to-year. Snow removal resources and programs are based on the average amounts of snow that we experience in this region. If you do plan on travelling outside while snow is falling, please give salting and snow clearing vehicles a wide berth. It's never a good idea to pass either of these vehicles.
It is important to remember that the amount of snow will dictate the response and how the District's resources are deployed. Our staff's equipment is all radio dispatched and there are GPS tracking systems on every vehicle in the fleet. Our snow removal teams work closely with their colleagues in the Fire Department, RCMP and BC Ambulance Service. The first priority is public safety during a snow incident.
The snow removal crews adjust the blades of the snowplows to avoid hitting manholes and road markers, so there will always be a bit of snow on the ground even when the plow goes by. The combination of salting and snow clearing will make roads passable, but winter driving conditions require that you exercise greater caution while driving. Prepare for safe winter driving by:
- Equipping your vehicle with snow tires.
- Make sure that your vehicle has an emergency kit.
- Make sure your driving reflects the road conditions.
In particular you need to slow down! Especially when approaching intersections. Your car, even an automatic, allows you to gear down for better traction. Hitting the accelerator and spinning your tires only compacts snow into ice, making intersections more dangerous for others on the roads. By shifting down into first gear, the tires move more slowly and you move away from the intersection without the spin.
When you get home from work, park off the road so that the snowplow can clear the largest swath of roadway. When clearing your property it is better to shovel the snow to the left side of your driveway as you are facing your property. This gives a better sightline for backing out of your driveway and also prevents the shovelled snow from being plowed back into the driveway area. Throwing the snow from your sidewalk onto the freshly plowed road can create a slushy mess that could freeze into ice if the temperature drops.
In the past, many emergency responders have often been dispatched to the same abandoned vehicle as passers-by spot and phone in their report. This year the RCMP and Fire Department will be working on a system to tag vehicles by placing a highly visible mark on the vehicle to indicate they have already been checked and cleared.
If we all do our part, we can minimize the impact of a severe snowstorm and get back to our normal routines as quickly as possible.