Do you have a photo of the first storm of the season in North Hastings? A photo of someone’s house done up in Christmas Lights? E-mail it with your name, the location and the time the photo was taken to email@example.com and look for it on coehillworld.com some day soon…
And from the OPP comissioner…
AURORA – “Motorists need to adapt their driving behaviour to the winter conditions we are experiencing around the province”, said Ontario Provincial Police (OPP) Commissioner Julian Fantino.
Heavy snowfalls hit Ontario overnight and this morning, resulting in hundreds of collisions and a number of serious personal injury crashes on OPP patrolled highways and roadways.
These collisions have resulted in hundreds of calls for service for OPP call-takers at the 5 Provincial Communications Centres across the province. The flood of calls being received are from stranded motorists, persons involved in crashes, those driving by the scenes and even people calling for weather and road conditions.
The OPP is reminding the public that they should not use 9-1-1 to report minor crashes or vehicles in ditches where no one has been injured. These non-urgent calls tied-up emergency phone lines that should be reserved for emergencies.
“The large amount of snow that fell across the province is normal for this time of the year,” Fantino said, “Also weather forecasters had been warning everyone for two days that we would be getting snow. Still, too many motorists have failed to adjust their driving to compensate for the poor weather.”
“Speed and aggressive driving are the two major causes of crashes at this time of year. Most of today’s occurrences could, and should have been avoided,” Fantino said.
Based on the results we are witnessing from this first major weather related driving event of the winter, Commissioner Fantino is reaffirming his position that there should be an amendment to the Highway Traffic Act to address drivers who recklessly put the safety of the motoring public at risk during times where weather and road conditions make driving more hazardous.
The Commissioner’s proposal would advocate for legislation to amend the Highway Traffic Act to make those drivers accountable for reckless driving behaviour that is not in keeping with the current weather and road conditions. The proposal is for a set fine with potential demerit point implications.
“The reckless driving behaviour of those who refuse to adjust their driving to the weather and road conditions puts everyone’s safety at risk. As Commissioner of the OPP it is my responsibility to promote public safety issues.”
The OPP are reminding motorists to:
Slow down and drive to the weather and road conditions;
Leave more space between vehicles. Stopping distances are at least double on snowy roads, and even longer in icy conditions;
Be ready for rapidly changing conditions. Blowing snow may suddenly reduce visibility, and gusting winds can cause ice to form quickly;
Know where you are. Keep track of intersections as you pass them in case you need to call for help in an emergency;
Monitor road and weather conditions. Check local media and road authority websites for conditions and closures before you leave home or work and listen to local radio during your journey;
For further winter driving tips visit the Ministry of Transportation Website at www.mto.gov.on.ca/english/traveller/conditions
— Ontario Provincial Police headquarters press release