Road and weather conditions were ugly Monday, making for some challenges on the roads.
Much of the region was on the receiving end of significant snowfall combined with strong winds. Steve Shaheen with the Ministry of Highways said drivers needed to stay alert.
"When people have had the summer to kind of forget about the work that the snow plows do, it's particularly important at this time of year to remind them that the blue and amber lights will indicate a plow is working ahead," he said. "These snow plows should be treated like any other emergency vehicles, and you must slow to 60 (km/h) when they are pulled over to the side of the road, or when passing."
According to Shaheen, it doesn't take long for crews to shift from summer to winter conditions.
"At this time of year anything can happen, there's always a chance of snowfall in the spring and fall and we're prepared for that possibility," Shaheen said. "Our crews can switch fairly quickly between summer and winter maintenance equipment. It only takes a few minutes and actually less than half an hour to mount the snow blades back onto the plows."
Even though the plows do their best to melt ice and clear snow from highways across the province, they can contribute to difficult driving conditions.
"Blading snow off actually creates a mini-blizzard next to and behind the snow plows so it's especially important to stay back and stay safe," Shaheen said. "This is especially relevant when it's windy conditions like a day like today, and due to that snow zone a motorist may have limited visibility when encountering a snow plow, so again it's best to play it safe, slow down, and drive with caution."
Shaheen added crews were out Monday and would continue to keep an eye on the conditions, and the best thing motorists could do is drive according to the road conditions and check the Highway Hotline before heading out.
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