Inclement weather created slushy and snow compacted roads, dangerous for driving, on Jan. 8. The Winter Driving Safety Alliance advises drivers to clear snow and ice from all windows, lights, mirrors, hood and the roof of vehicles, as well as waiting for your vehicle to defrost to allow clear visibility all around. (Photo provided by Terry St. Pierre/The Northern View)

Slush, snow and ice cancelled driving lessons and road tests

Slow down, leave space and use common sence are tips that local driving insructor advises

Driving road tests and driving lessons were cancelled for some learners in Prince Rupert last week due to the inclement weather. Road conditions were just too bad to risk health and safety.

Ely Abecia, owner and instructor of Rainbow Driving School in Prince Rupert said drivers need to use common sense in winter conditions. Abecia, who has owned the driving school for over 15 years, works closely with the driving examiners and the decision was made to cancel lessons and some road tests due to unfavourable conditions.

The weather conditions in P.R. last week and forecasted for this week are not common Abcecia said. With thick slush and compacted snow covering ice layers, drivers need to slow down, but not hold up traffic behind them. In his 42 years of living in Prince Rupert he has seen conditions like this less than ten times.

Abecia said the number one recommendation he can provide its that common sense is required, by even experienced drivers, when on the roads in winter .“You already know its slippery, so use common sense and drive for the conditions, “ he said.

READ MORE: Wicked winter weather settling into Prince Rupert

The best way to stay safe under the extreme weather is to avoid driving all together according to Drive B.C. Rapid changes in elevation and weather can make road and highway driving unpredictable during the winter. The winter driving season in B.C. is from Oct. 1, to March 31. Winter tires are mandatory.

When driving can not be avoided, “good winter tires are necessary,” said Abecia, “studded tires are better if possible.” When going down hill breaks should be applied early. “Use your gears. Even in an automatic vehicle use lower gears,” said Abecia, “That way you don’t need too much pressure on your break.” By using a lower gear the engine does the work for the car.

The Canada Safety Council advises drivers to ensure their vehicle is prepared for winter and to drive smoothly. Drivers should learn how to control skids and not tail gate. Definitely do not use cruise control in winter conditions because if the car hydroplanes it will accelerate and may cause loss of control.

It is advised, by Drive B.C. when driving in an avalanche area, as seen between Prince Rupert and Terrace, if an avalanche has blocked the highway try to turn around and drive to a safe area. If you can not, then remain in your vehicle with your seat belt to wait for assistance. Do not attempt to drive through and avalanche regardless of the size.

READ MORE: Nearly half of B.C. drivers nervous in winter conditions: BCAA

Government of Canada and Drive B.C. web sites have several tip sheets and pointers for winter drivers. There is also a free online winter driving course, supported by the Justice Institute of British Columbia for employers and health and safety committees to utilize when employees need to drive as part of their employment. at www.shiftintowinter.ca. Reminders to drivers to stay safe, listed on the government website include, turning on your lights even during day-time hours, obey winter tire and chain up signs, and carry an emergency kit.

Send K-J email
Like the The Northern View on Facebook
Follow us on Twitter

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Mclean’s Shipyard sells

New adventures for owners of Adventure Tours & Westcoast Launch

Severe wind warning for Haida Gwaii and the North Coast

Winds of more than 100 km/h are predicted for Wednesday afternoon

SD52 schools using bottled water, waiting on results from copper levels in drinking water

New guidelines cut down the allowable limit for lead and copper in drinking water

B.C. premier talks forestry, service needs with handful of northern mayors in Prince George

Prince George meeting completes premier’s tour of Kitimat, Terrace, Fort St. James and Quesnel

Indigenous LNG supporters chide human rights advocates over pipeline comments

Coastal GasLink has signed agreements with 20 elected First Nation councils along the pipeline’s 670-kilometre path

Four things ‘not’ to do if you run into Prince Harry and Meghan in B.C.

Here is a list of some things you definitely should NOT do, according to the BBC

WEB POLL: Are you in favour of LNG exports from the North Coast?

AlaskCAN LNG recently announced their goal of building a $12 billion LNG… Continue reading

B.C.-based Coulson Aviation C-130 crashes in Australia

Three people are confirmed dead in the crash in New South Wales

New nasal spray launched in Canada to combat hypoglycemic shock in diabetics

Baqsimi is a nasal spray contains three milligrams of glucagon

B.C. RCMP spent roughly $750K on massive manhunt for Port Alberni men

Manitoba RCMP helped with 17-day search through the province’s northern terrain

Future space homes could be made of mushrooms

NASA explores use of fungi to build structures in space

Man killed by police in Lytton called 911, asking to be shot: RCMP

Howard Schantz, also known as Barry Schantz was killed following a standoff at his Lytton home

Canadian public health agencies ramping up preparations in response to new virus

Health officials have said there are no confirmed cases of the emerging coronavirus in Canada

Most Read