Police are warning drivers to be wary of the havoc fall’s weather is wreaking on roads threading the Island’s wet west coast.
“With the rain season starting and winter right around the corner, we’re advising and reminding motorists to ensure that they’ve got their winter tires set on their vehicles as well as practicing safe driving habits; slowing down and making sure you get there safe,”Ucluelet RCMP detachment commander Sgt. Steve Mancini said. “It comes down to driving to the road conditions, as opposed to what you may be used to in the summertime.”
Mancini suggested many stretches of the Pacific Rim Highway between Tofino and Ucluelet are shaded by trees, causing the roads to remain slick throughout the day, and said snow will likely start falling over Sutton Pass soon.
Winter tires are mandatory for all drivers on Sutton Pass from Oct. 1 to March 31.
“That’s for their safety as well as their passengers and other motorists on the road that they could collide with if they’re not properly equipped,” Mancini said.
He added drivers must be wary of the daily road closures on Sutton Pass—due to the federal and provincial government’s $38 million Kennedy Hill Improvement project—and need to schedule their trips out of town prudently, rather than try to speed to make up for lost time.
“With the road closures right now and the stacks of cars that we’re seeing lining up, that’s slowing people down and people are trying to make up time for that,” he said. “We’ve got to slow down, drive safe and make sure we get to where we need to be.”
For tips on safe winter driving habits, check out www.shiftintowinter.ca