Tim Schewe

Drivesmart column: Always give snow plows plenty of room on the road

Be cautious of unexpected behaviour!

By Tim Schewe

Knowing how to behave around snow removal equipment when you encounter it on the highway is important for both your safety and that of the equipment operator. These trucks must operate at optimum speeds to remove snow, drop sand and salt or apply brine. A bit of patience is required if this optimum is not what you consider appropriate for you.

Please keep in mind that during a winter event or during the storm clean up period, that snow plows require plenty of room to operate. You may see the snow plow but the snow plow operator has restricted vision and they may not be able to see you.

Snow removal equipment is exempt from the usual rules of the road if the operator exercises due care in the circumstances. Be cautious of unexpected behaviour!

RELATED: Dashcam captures head-on crash between snow plow and truck on northern B.C. highway

Never pass a plow on the right, as this is typically the direction in which snow is being thrown. In addition, trucks are sometimes outfitted with extra wing plows that extend from the side of the truck, and these can be hidden in the cloud of snow that is being thrown.

Never tailgate a snow plow, as the operator may be required to come to a sudden stop if they detect an obstacle on the road ahead of them. Sudden turns may also be necessary.

When plows are operating in a group, be careful not to get caught between them. Having your car between two or more plows creates an unnecessary obstacle for them to watch for.

Passing a snow plow on the left is not recommended either. Large accumulations of snow can be thrown from any part of the truck, including the tires and undercarriage. If you must pass, use extreme caution and be aware of the snow cloud.

During sanding operations, the operators try their best to shut off their applicators when approaching traffic, though this is not always possible to do, as the application must be continuous on hills and on curves, as well as on any icy section of highway. When you see a sanding truck approaching, pull to the right as much as safely possible and slow your travel speed.

Please consider where you park your vehicle. If you choose a spot that interferes with snow removal, it could be towed away and stored at your expense.

Motorists should always be patient when traveling in winter conditions. Plow truck operators are working for the safety of yourself and your families. Their own safety is greatly compromised when motorists around them do not offer them enough respect.

Tim Schewe is a retired constable with many years of traffic law enforcement. To comment or learn more, please visit DriveSmartBC.ca

Column

Just Posted

Conner Gilkin, 5, shows of some of his newfound loot to buddy Jax Dul, 7, during the Lake Cowichan treasure hunt on Saturday, June 5. (Kevin Rothbauer/Gazette)
Weekly hunt has Lake Cowichan digging for treasure

Gold? Silver? Candy? Andrew Braye has stashed away a range of prizes for eager treasure hunters

A new laundromat is opening in the Peters Centre in Lake Cowichan. (file photo)
Peters Centre getting all cleaned up

Laundromat being developed at the Neva Road site

Robert's column
Robert Barron column: Skyrocketing house prices a tragedy

North Cowichan councillor Rosalie Sawrie brought an interesting perspective to a discussion… Continue reading

Soaker hoses laid down over corn seedlings, soon to be covered with mulch, will see to the watering needs of the bed through any summer drought. (Mary Lowther photo)
Mary Lowther column: Investing in soaker hoses is money well-spent

No-till gardening has a distinct advantage during drought

Karl McPherson, left, and Mary Morrice are the new head coach and general manager, respectively, at the Duncan Dynamics Gymnastics Club. (Kevin Rothbauer/Citizen)
Manager charts a new course for Duncan Dynamics

More recreational programs to join competitive teams

At an outdoor drive-in convocation ceremony, Mount Royal University bestows an honorary Doctor of Laws on Blackfoot Elder and residential school survivor Clarence Wolfleg in Calgary on Tuesday, June 8, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jeff McIntosh
‘You didn’t get the best of me’: Residential school survivor gets honorary doctorate

Clarence Wolfleg receives honorary doctorate from Mount Royal University, the highest honour the school gives out

Indigenous Services Minister Marc Miller is seen during a news conference, Wednesday May 19, 2021 in Ottawa. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Indigenous child-welfare battle heads to court despite calls for Ottawa to drop cases

Feds are poised to argue against two Canadian Human Rights Tribunal rulings

The Great Ogopogo Bathtub Race has been held in Summerland as a fundraising event. Do you know which Canadian city introduced this sport? (Black Press file photo)
QUIZ: A summer’s day at the water

How much do you know about boats, lakes and water?

Two-year-old Ivy McLeod laughs while playing with Lucky the puppy outside their Chilliwack home on Thursday, June 10, 2021. (Jenna Hauck/ Chilliwack Progress)
VIDEO: B.C. family finds ‘perfect’ puppy with limb difference for 2-year-old Ivy

Ivy has special bond with Lucky the puppy who was also born with limb difference

A million-dollar ticket was sold to an individual in Vernon from the Lotto Max draw Friday, June 11, 2021. (Photo courtesy of BCLC)
Lottery ticket worth $1 million sold in Vernon

One lucky individual holds one of 20 tickets worth $1 million from Friday’s Lotto Max draw

“65 years, I’ve carried the stories in my mind and live it every day,” says Jack Kruger. (Athena Bonneau)
‘Maybe this time they will listen’: Survivor shares stories from B.C. residential school

Jack Kruger, living in Syilx territory, wasn’t surprised by news of 215 children’s remains found on the grounds of the former Kamloops Indian Residential School

A logging truck carries its load down the Elaho Valley near in Squamish, B.C. in this file photo. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chuck Stoody
Squamish Nation calls for old-growth logging moratorium in its territory

The nation says 44% of old-growth forests in its 6,900-square kilometre territory are protected while the rest remain at risk

Flowers and cards are left at a makeshift memorial at a monument outside the former Kamloops Indian Residential School to honour the 215 children whose remains are believed to have been discovered buried near the city in Kamloops, B.C., on Monday, May 31, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
‘Pick a Sunday:’ Indigenous leaders ask Catholics to stay home, push for apology

Indigenous leaders are calling on Catholics to stand in solidarity with residential school survivors by not attending church services

Most Read