News release

Tips to Help Winter Drivers Protect Themselves, Passengers

NOTE: A top 10 winter driving safety tips is available at www.gov.ns.ca/tran/winter/RCMPSafeWinterDriving.pdf.

A social media version of this release, with hi-res, downloadable photos, video and audio clips is available at http://novascotia.ca/news/smr/2012-11-28-Winter-Driving/.


Preparing for winter road conditions now, will help drivers and passengers arrive home safely later in the season.

Now that temperatures have dropped, snow and ice can be expected at any time on provincial roads and drivers should be ready.

"Winter sneaks up on all of us, especially this year with the unseasonably warm weather we've had," said Maurice Smith, Minister of Transportation and Infrastructure Renewal. "But this is Nova Scotia and winter road conditions will happen.

"Along with taking your time on the road, getting your vehicle ready for winter is the best thing you can do for yourself and your passengers to ensure you all arrive safely at your destination."

The Emergency Management Office also encourages Nova Scotians to carry an emergency kit in vehicles.

"When Nova Scotians dress their children in mittens and boots, it is the time to check vehicle tires and pack a winter car kit," said Emergency Management Minister Ross Landry. "Jumper cables, warning flares, a shovel, traction sand or road salt, and a tow rope will be extremely useful if stuck in snow."

This year, the province is teaming up with the RCMP, Safety Services Nova Scotia and auto service professionals at Canadian Tire to demonstrate the top 10 winter driving safety tips. Among the tips are how to assess the tread wear on tires, when to replace worn windshield wipers and the importance of winter windshield wash.

"Preparation makes a huge difference when it comes to safe winter driving," said Const. Sherri Curley, RCMP Traffic Services unit. "That means making sure the vehicle has been properly winterized, but it also means driving according to the road conditions when the winter weather arrives."
"Recent temperatures prove that winter is coming so preparing your vehicle by ensuring your tires and car fluids are appropriate for the season, along with making sure everything is operational, makes great safety sense," said Jackie Norman, president and CEO, Safety Services Nova Scotia. "At Safety Services, we encourage workplaces to provide winter driving tips to employees to ensure they get to work safely all year."

The Department of Transportation and Infrastructure Renewal also advises motorists to check road conditions before heading out by calling 511, and to stay well back of snowplows and winter maintenance vehicles. Operators' visibility can be limited by blowing snow.

More information and tips on winter driving are available at www.gov.ns.ca/tran/winter. More information on preparing a vehicle emergency kit is available on the Emergency Management Office website at www.gov.ns.ca/emo.

Information on road conditions is available by dialing 511 for provincial highway conditions, or 1-888-432-3233 for local road information.

Ensuring roads are safe is a key priority for government and is an essential part of the province's 5-year highway improvement plan, which details record-breaking investments in Nova Scotia roads, highways and bridges. To view the plan, go to www.gov.ns.ca/tran/highways/5yearplan.

FOR BROADCAST USE:

Preparing for winter road conditions now, will help drivers and passengers arrive home safely later in the season.

Transportation and Infrastructure Renewal Minister Maurice Smith says winter road conditions are inevitable and getting vehicles ready for is winter will help people arrive at their destinations safely.

Emergency Management Minister Ross Landry says checking vehicle tires and packing a winter car kit are vital for winter safety.

More information on winter driving tips are available at the Department of Transportation and Infrastructure Renewal website.

Information on preparing a vehicle emergency kit is available on the Emergency Management Office website

Information on provincial highway road conditions is available by dialing 511.

-30-

Media Contacts:

Pam Menchenton
Transportation and Infrastructure Renewal 902-424-1750 Cell: 902-719-4950 E-mail:
Rachel Boomer
Emergency Management Office 902-424-0932 E-mail:
Lane Farguson
Nova Scotia RCMP 902-490-1441 Cell: 902-209-7139 E-mail: