Snow Removal Equipment
With all the snow stories on the news lately I wanted to touch on a topic that I had not done before, and that is how to behave around snow removal equipment when you encounter them on the highway. The information that follows was provided to me by Noel Mankey of Mainroad Holdings, one of British Columbia's road maintenance contractors:
Please keep in mind that during a winter event or during the storm clean up period, that snowplows require plenty of room to operate. You may see the snow plow but the snowplow operator has restricted vision and they may not be able to see you.
Never pass a plow on the right, as this is typically the direction in which snow is being thrown. In addition, trucks are sometimes outfitted with extra wing plows that extend from the side of the truck, and these can be hidden in the cloud of snow that is being thrown.
Never tailgate a snowplow, as the operator may be required to come to a sudden stop if they detect an obstacle on the road ahead of them. Sudden turns may also be necessary.
When plows are operating in a group, be careful not to get caught between them. Having your car between two or more plows creates an unnecessary obstacle for them to watch for.
Passing a snowplow is not recommended. Large accumulations of snow can be thrown from any part of the truck, including the tires and undercarriage. If you must pass, use extreme caution and be aware of the snow cloud.
During sanding operations, the operators try their best to shut off their applicators when approaching traffic, though this is not always possible to do, as the application must be continuous on hills and on curves, as well as on any icy section of highway. When you see a sanding truck approaching, pull to the right as much as safely possible and slow your travel speed.
Motorists should always be patient when traveling in winter conditions. Plow truck operators are working for the safety of yourself and your families. Their own safety is greatly compromised when motorists around them do not offer them enough respect.
Snow removal equipment is exempt from rules of the road - Section 120(b) MVA
Snow removal equipment must be driven with due regard when using the exemption - Section 121 MVA
Removal of vehicles that block snow removal - Section 188 MVA