Sunday’s snowy conditions and slippery roads kept Parksville Qualicum Beach emergency crews busy.
On Feb. 3, the Oceanside RCMP received 18 reports of motor vehicle collisions.
“This is certainly a high number of collisions in a 24-hour period and in most cases they were caused by drivers that were travelling too quickly for the snowy road conditions,” said Oceanside RCMP Sgt. Stephen Rose. “In all, however, no serious injuries have been reported to date.”
The Oceanside RCMP, along with the Dashwood Volunteer Fire Department, also responded to an ATV accident yesterday near the intersection of Corcan Road Meadowood Way.
Jeremy Morton, fire captain with the Dashwood Volunteer Fire Department, said the driver of the ATV lost control on the snowy roads and flipped. He received minor injuries.
“[The driver was] able to walk away from it but was taken by ambulance crews to the hospital for some further testing just to be certain,” Morton said.
The Qualicum Beach Fire Department responded to six incidents on Feb. 3 with five of them being motor vehicle accidents due to weather conditions on the Inland Island Highway, said department chief Darryl Kohse.
Kohse said it is the department’s first priority to make it to an accident scene safely, and that the crew’s safety can be jeopardized when motorists pass a fire truck.
“We have seen quite often that some motorist think it’s OK to pass a fire truck with its lights and sirens on,” Kohse said. “The problem is that we are a hazard every time we enter our roadways responding to incidents. Yielding to emergency vehicles reduces that risk and allows us to get to the scene quickly and safely.”
Kohse said fire trucks are large and don’t maneuver like a car, therefore drivers need room to slow down and turn.
“By passing our vehicles while they are moving and using their emergency lights and sirens, puts our firefighters, the public and our vehicles at risk,” Kohse said. “Last night (Feb.3) our truck was slowing down to make a turn at the emergency vehicle turn around (on the highway) while using its emergency equipment and a motorist took it upon themselves to pass our truck on the left while it was about to make its turn. Luckily our driver saw the vehicle approaching and paused just as he was about to turn, narrowly missing the vehicle.”
Kohse asks motorists to allow emergency vehicles space by pulling over or not following too close.