EDITORIAL: Winter on the west coast is must-see TV

Rest of Canada can have a laugh at Lower Mainland’s expense for a couple of days

Much to the amusement (and disdain) of the rest of Canada, it doesn’t take more than a few centimetres of snow to send Metro Vancouver drivers into a tailspin – as we’ve witnessed once again this week.

Like clockwork Monday morning, school districts across the region announced closures and grownups took the day off rather than brave Sunday night’s snowfall from behind the wheel.

Before long, the inevitable photos started coming in to the newsroom of vehicles in ditches or on their roofs (or both).

The rest of Canada has it worse, no question, but winter driving in the Lower Mainland does come with its own unique set of challenges.

First, heavy snowfalls happen so rarely here, that drivers can be forgiven for being a little out of practice when the odd snow day (or two) eventually hits.

Add to that temperatures that often hover right around the freezing mark, making it difficult to know when roads are icy, or just wet – though ice should always be considered a possibility.

Our high traffic volumes increase the likelihood that a bit of a slip-and-slide situation will turn into a collision.

And it’s fair to assume that Metro Vancouver cities aren’t as well equipped with sanders and plows as equivalent-size communities in other parts of the country. So it can take a little longer for crews to get some of the less traveled roads in these parts.

But enough with the excuses.

It might be tough to convince people to buy winter (or all-weather snow and mud) tires for their vehicles when there’s a fairly good chance they won’t need them, but these drivers need to be reminded they aren’t gambling with only their own safety. Everyone else on the road, regardless of how well-equipped for winter driving, is at their mercy.

And that’s not OK.

But the most basic safety precaution that a few drivers here – and thankfully, they’re the minority – still don’t seem to understand is simply to slow down.

Brake gently and over a more prolonged period when coming to a stop, and accelerate the same way to avoid skidding or spinning out.

Like most years, winter probably won’t stick around here for long.

But while it does, it will continue to make great TV for the rest of Canada.

Just Posted

New West mayor says Surrey won’t be left out in transit 10-year plan

Jonathan Cote one of two speakers at luncheon focusing on transportation, land use planning

UPDATE: Missing Surrey snowshoer found dead on Mt. Seymour

North Shore Rescue resumed its search today after efforts were temporarily halted Tuesday due to snowstorm

UPDATE: Woman, off-duty cop in critical condition after stabbing outside North Delta elementary school

The officer was intervening in an alleged assault outside of Immaculate Conception School when he and the woman were stabbed

Suspect charged after four Surrey banks were robbed in just four hours

Financial institutions in North Surrey targeted on Feb. 12

Surrey says WorkSafeBC should be in charge of asbestos abatement

City staff say WorkSafeBC has ‘greater knowledge, experience and expertise’ concerning asbestos

VIDEO: Nail-biter game against Germany tonight earns Langley’s Team Canada a win

Langley’s Team Tardi is 5-2 at the junior curling worlds in Nova Scotia, hoping to defend their title

Ontario man accused of killing 11-year-old daughter dies in hospital, police say

Roopesh Rajkumar had been hospitalized with what police described as a self-inflicted gunshot wound

Manitoba ‘pauses’ link with ex-B.C. premier Gordon Campbell after allegations

Campbell had been hired to review two major hydro projects

Heritage minute features Japanese-Canadian baseball team, internment

The Vancouver Asahi baseball team won various championships across the Pacific Northwest

$10-a-day child care not in 2019 budget, but advocate not irked

Sharon Gregson with the Coalition of Child Care Advocates of B.C. says NDP on track to deliver promise

B.C. Seniors Advocate questions labour shortage in care homes

Are there really no workers, or are care aide wages too low?

B.C. business groups worry about looming economic decline in wake of NDP budget

The party’s second government budget focused on plenty of spending, business advocates say

Man injured in police shooting near Nelson has died: B.C. police watchdog

The death follows an incident in Bonnington on Feb. 13

Experts urge caution after 10 human-triggered avalanches across B.C.

One man is still stuck after avalanche on south coast

Most Read

l -->