Environment Canada is warning the public of an advancing system of winter weather that is making its way towards Southern and Central Ontario later today and will continue well into Friday. This will no doubt make driving conditions very treacherous over the next few days as the storm passes through the area and the clean-up takes place.
The Ontario Provincial Police (OPP) is asking motorists to drive according to the weather and road conditions and to be prepared for the unexpected. Central Region Traffic and Marine Manager Inspector Dom Beckett says “with the advance warnings of the storm, along with the extended periods of heavy snow and strong winds, road and travel conditions will be challenging over the next couple of days. Motorists are encouraged to listen to local radio stations for up to date closures of any roads and to plan ahead when it comes to any travel. If you don’t need to travel, the best place to be is at home”.
In the event of any highway or road closures, please do not contact the OPP for updates as these will be provided to the media by the Provincial Communications Centres. The Ministry of Transportation website will also have detailed and updated road conditions/closures available at http://www.mto.gov.on.ca/english/traveller/trip.
The OPP offers the following tips for those who have to travel during the storm period:
• Reduce speed and drive to the weather conditions you are experiencing.
• Make sure that you give yourself extra time to arrive safely at your destination.
• Drive with a full lighting system on. This will help you see and to be seen by other motorists.
• Fill your windshield washer up and carry extra in case you run out.
• Travel with a full tank of gas.
• Ensure that your vehicle is clear of all snow (including the roof area, trunk, hood and all of the windows).
• Have a fully charged cell phone should you break down or become stranded and know where you are.
• Have a roadside safety kit that consists of a warm blanket, a winter hat, pair of gloves, a candle for heat (in case you break down), matches, a flashlight, snow shovel, dry food that will not freeze for nourishment and a small metal can that can be used to melt snow (remember bottled water will freeze).
• If you become involved in a collision with your vehicle, stay in it and don’t walk around on any highway or roadway.