Following an intense winter, the Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure is undertaking several improvements to make British Columbia highways safer and more reliable during winter months.
“I have heard from people and communities throughout the province that we need to take action to improve safety on our highways,” said Claire Trevena, Minister of Transportation and Infrastructure. “With that in mind, our government is moving quickly to implement changes that will ensure people are able to get where they need to go more safely through the winter months.”
The ministry is moving on a number of measures, including:
– Stricter commercial vehicle chain-up requirements, including higher fines for commercial vehicles not carrying chains, or not chaining up when required. Currently, the fine is $121.
– A pilot program to restrict commercial vehicles from using the far left lane on key three-lane highway sections in the winter, to ensure routes remain open to snow plows, emergency vehicles and passenger vehicles.
– Investing $1.8 million over the next three years in additional weather stations and overhead message signs to provide better real-time weather and road condition information.
– Enhanced road-maintenance contractor monitoring and auditing, leveraging new tools and technology, like road weather stations, variable speed limit systems, and GPS tracking of snow plows.
– Extending winter tire and chain regulations on select highways, including mountain passes and rural routes in high snowfall areas, from Oct. 1 to April 30 (instead of March 31), to account for early-spring snowfall.
– More support for the Winter Driving Safety Alliance through a specific winter driving campaign, to promote safe winter driving behaviour and awareness for all drivers.
The ministry will be engaging publicly with the commercial trucking industry, and other stakeholders, in the coming months on the implementation of the new safety measures, with required regulatory changes expected to be in place by next winter.
For more on the Winter Driving Safety Alliance and the annual Shift Into Winter campaign, go to: https://shiftintowinter.ca/
Follow the work of the Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure online at: http://www.tranbc.ca