Ontario motorists are reminded of the need to take certain precautions this winter to avoid collisions involving snow plows.
A province-wide public awareness campaign, launched on Friday in Ottawa by transportation minister Bob Chiarelli, was started by the Ontario Road Builders’ Association (ORBA) to answer concerns about reckless driving around snow plows.
The Ontario Provincial Police (OPP) reports that many winter driving accidents involving snow plows are preventable if drivers used caution when approaching the vehicles.
“Failure to take necessary precautions when following, approaching or passing snowplows may cause you serious harm or even death,” Inspector Dave Springer, manager of traffic and marine for the OPP’s East Region, says in a statement.
“Be patient. They are clearing the roadway to assist in safer travel,” Springer adds.
Motorists are reminded to be patient and keep a safe distance behind working snow plows; slow down and never pass or drive beside a plow; and when approaching a plow from the opposite direction, stay to the right and allow enough space for the plow to operate safely.
“We want to help drivers understand that passing snow plows can result in dangerous collisions,” Geoff Wilkinson, executive director of ORBA, says in the statement.
“Always keep a safe distance from snow plows and trucks that are plowing, salting or sanding the road,” Chiarelli adds.
The awareness campaign is supported by plow operators, maintenance contractors and Ontario’s Ministry of Transportation. More than 1,000 snow plows will be out clearing the province’s roads and highways this winter.