With a winter wonderland comes an increased call volume to first responders at Kootenay Boundary Regional Fire Rescue – many of those emergencies being fender benders or drivers sliding into ditches as well as the occasional SOS when a water line freezes on an indoor sprinkler system.
Most calls are road-related, however. So with more snow on the way, Deputy Fire Chief Dan Derby reminds everyone to slow down and drive for the conditions.
“We’ve been responding to a number of weather-related calls,” Derby told the Trail Times on Tuesday. That morning KBRFR crews had already been out to a pair of accidents that occurred almost simultaneously – one involved two vehicles in Beaver Falls and the other, near Rock Island.
That assistance followed the need to extract a person from a three-car accident near Oasis on Monday and last week, crews responded to an incident near Birchbank when an elk hit a vehicle.
“We are reminding people to slow down and drive for winter conditions,” added Derby.
His message follows a news release from West Kootenay Traffic Services on Monday.
“Your local traffic police are urging motorists to slow down and use caution,” advised Cpl. Chad Badry. “We have been very busy lately dealing with a number of serious crashes. With the recent snowfall, we are even more concerned.”
He reminds drivers that posted speed limits are for ideal driving conditions.
“Most of the winter, the roads are not ideal which means you could get a speeding ticket for Speed Relative to Conditions even if you are driving well under the speed limit, ” he explained. “During the winter drivers need to plan extra time for travel, slow down for curves, leave extra room between vehicles, and plan to stop at controlled intersections well in advance,” Badry added. “Even if the roads appear bare, blowing snow or rapid temperature changes can mean slippery road conditions.”
Fines start at $167 and can reach $368 depending upon the offence.
“Another important thing drivers need to do is ensure that windows are defogged and all the snow is removed from their vehicle,” he concluded. “You need to be able to see clearly out of all of your windows before driving. Snow blowing from the hood into your own windshield puts everyone at risk. Snow blowing off the top and back of your vehicle onto the road and into vehicles behind you is extremely unsafe and plain discourteous.”
Fines for an obstructed window start at $81.