Submitted by Cap. Mike Halskov, BC Highway Patrol

As summer and autumn fade from our rear view mirrors, BC Highway Patrol is reminding drivers to
be prepared for the changing driving conditions as the winter months near.

October is Drive Relative to Conditions month in BC and police will be out in force throughout the
province stopping drivers and checking vehicles to ensure motorists are safe and vehicles are properly
equipped to meet winter driving conditions. According to provincial statistics, an average of 36
people are killed every year in BC* in collisions where vehicles were being driven too fast for the road

As the daylight hours get shorter and the weather becomes more inclement, police are reminding
motorists of a few things they can do to arrive safely at their destinations:
Replace windshield wipers to improve visibility and clear all windows of fog/ice and snow before
Clean your vehicle’s windows in and out, use air conditioning at a comfortable temperature
so windows don’t fog up, and consider applying products to the exterior glass that repels water to
improve visibility;
Check your tires to ensure they are in good condition, have sufficient tread depth and are
properly inflated. Winter tread (including M&S tires) are required in BC between October 1st and
April 30th (For select highways not located through mountain passes and/or high snowfall areas, tire
and chain requirements end March 31);
Turn your headlights to the ON position, not auto – this ensures your tail lights come on as well
so you can be seen from behind. Make sure all your lights, signals and brake lights are fully functional;
Do not use cruise control on wet/snowy/slippery road surfaces;
Increase the distance between you and vehicles ahead to give yourself more time to stop, especially
if it is raining/snowing/slippery/foggy/night time;
Slow down especially if it is raining/snowing/foggy or any other time your visibility is limited. Posted
speed limits assume ideal driving conditions;
Be extra vigilant for cyclists and pedestrians who may be unpredictable and not clearly visible;
Watch out for black ice as temperatures drop to freezing; and
Give yourself extra time to get to your destination.

As winter approaches and driving becomes more challenging, we want people to be aware of things
they can do to stay safe during their travels, says Chief Superintendent Holly Turton, Officer in Charge of
BC Highway Patrol. Ultimately, we want to minimize collisions, injuries and fatalities on our roadways in
our ongoing effort to make our highways safer.

Motorists can expect to see an increased police presence on our highways throughout the province
during this enhanced enforcement campaign and may experience short delays. Police are asking motorists to drive safely, and obey the directions of officers at any check-stop.

For more information, visit the following websites: BC Highway Patrol,,, Shift Into
Winter, Designated Winter Tire & Chain Routes.