As the winter weather is now upon us, the Northumberland Detachment of the Ontario Provincial Police (OPP) would like to remind motorists to take extra precaution when driving on our roadways. This is a series focusing on safety tips to keep in mind when travelling during winter months.
Move Over for Emergency Vehicles but not for Winter Maintenance Vehicles – Its the law to move over for emergency vehicles but when behind winter maintenance vehicles, slow down and stay back a safe distance and exercise patience. Never pass around or between winter maintenance vehicles.
Vehicle Maintenance – Prepare for winter in the fall by getting a complete check up of your vehicle. Before heading out, ensure your vehicle is properly maintained and your fuel tank and windshield washer fluid are sufficiently full. Clear snow and ice from the roof, hood, trunk and all windows, lights and mirrors. See and be seen. Have your tire air pressure checked often as the pressure decreases in cold weather.
Winter Driving Survival Kit – Always remember safety. Here are some recommended items: ice scraper, snowbrush, shovel, sand, tow rope or chain, booster cables, road flares, gas line antifreeze, flashlight and batteries, first aid kit, fire extinguisher, non-perishable energy food items, candle, matches and extra clothing or a blanket.
If you have a passenger, remind him/her to take extra clothing as well. A cell phone and phone charger are useful tools but remember to pull over to the side of the road to make the call. Its against the law to talk or text while driving.
In an Emergency: Remember, dialing 911 on your cell phone will connect you with the emergency services contact centre in the area. Please use 1-888-310-1122 or *677 for non-emergencies.
If you get stuck or stranded, don’t panic. Stay with your vehicle for safety and warmth. Wait for help to arrive. If you are trapped for an extended period of time, make sure your tailpipe is not blocked by snow to keep carbon monoxide from getting into your vehicle.
For more information on winter driving techniques, check the Ministry of Transportation website at www.mto.gov.on.ca/english/safety/winterdrive/winterdrive.shtml and/or Transport Canada at www.tc.gc.ca.