Drivers’ impatience with snow plows creates safety concerns on the Coquihalla

Josh Duncan | January 10, 2019 in Provincial

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B.C.’s ministry of transportation is reminding drivers of an important rule of the road that many impatient drivers seem to forget.

“There’s an essential rule about sharing the road with snow plows,” says the ministry. “Never pass them on the right!”

Signs are posted along B.C. Interior highways reminding drivers that it’s not permitted and you can be issued a minimum fine of $96 if you’re caught doing so.

Photo Credit: Ministry of transportation

In 2016, there were 11 collisions between cars and plows on the Coquihalla Highway alone, creating stress, grief and costs for a lot of people.

The reason motorists are told not to pass plows on the right is because that’s where the blade is.

That means all of the snow and debris is flying out to the right and can potentially blind a driver attempting to pass.

Many plows are also equipped with extendable wings that might not be visible because of that blowing snow, making it easy for a driver to clip them.

Plow drivers and the ministry call for patience from motorists, as it’s not like you’ll be caught behind one for more than a few kilometres.

“We’re not here to get in your way,” says one VSA equipment operator, Michelle. “We all want to make it home to our families at the end of the day, too.”

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