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MOTI Wishes Motorists Safe Holiday Travels

Cariboo motorists can expect increased traffic on BC highways with just 3 travel days left before Christmas.

“Everybody is in a rush right now so give yourself some extra time out there on the roads,” says Millie Furlong with the Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure.

“And you also run into things like plow trucks on the roads this time of year. Make sure you never pass them on the right-hand side, follow them from a safe distance, and often they’ll even pull over and allow traffic to pass, but things like that can slow down your time so you need to allow extra time.”

Furlong adds that ensuring your vehicle is equipped with a full tank of fuel, a windshield scraper and snowbrush, food and water, and other emergency supplies should also be done before leaving on your holiday destination.

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ICBC estimates there are 35 crashes and nine people injured every hour in BC over the Christmas holidays and New Year’s.

Other tips to help everyone get home safe this holiday season according to ICBC:

  • Check your vehicle. Many B.C. highways require winter tires, labeled with either the mountain/snowflake symbol or the mud and snow (M+S) designation. Top up wiper fluid for clearer visibility and pack an emergency kit including blanket, food and water.
  • Slow down. Posted speed limits are for ideal conditions only. It takes more time and distance to come to a complete stop on wet, icy or snowy roads. Adjust your speed to the conditions and always maintain a safe traveling distance between vehicles.
  • Avoid distraction. Make important calls before you get in your vehicle and let your family and friends know you’re not available while driving. If you’re on a longer drive, use highway rest stops to take a break and check your messages.
  • Take a break. Pull over as soon as you start to feel drowsy. Get out and walk around to get some fresh air. If that’s not enough, pull over to a safe area, turn off your car and take a nap.
  • Plan for a safe ride home. If your holiday festivities involve alcohol, plan ahead for a safe ride home: arrange a designated driver, call a taxi, take transit or use Operation Red Nose where available. There’s no excuse to drink and drive.
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