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Rash of snow plow crashes on Coquihalla Highway prompts warning

FILE PHOTO - Travelling behind a snow plow on the Coquihalla Highway on Nov 2, 2013.
Image Credit: Contributed/B.C. Ministry of Transportation/Jess M. Cote
December 12, 2015 - 2:30 PM

KAMLOOPS – Cars crashing into snow plows on the Coquihalla Highway has become such a problem this winter the company providing maintenance on the route has issued a warning.

The latest crash was Thursday night, Dec. 10, when a car rear ended a plow on the stretch of Highway 5 between Merritt and the old toll plaza. Bob Gilowski with VSA Highway Maintenance says this was just another incident in a recent growing list.

Gilowski says there have been four collisions in as many weeks, including an incident three weeks ago which took a vehicle completely out of their fleet.

Not only is it expensive when plows are written off, or taken out of service so the damage can be repaired, it means one less maintenance vehicle on the road and that impacts service levels, he says.

“All of the people using the route suffer,” he says.

Flashing lights on a snow plow mean drivers need to proceed with caution.

“All we want is people to arrive safely at their destinations,” Gilowski says.

A yellow highway maintenance vehicle working on a highway should be a red flag for drivers. It means driving conditions are so bad the road either needs to be cleared or abrasives like sand or gravel need to be laid, he says.

He advises drivers to stay well back of snow plows and be patient. The driver will pull over and let them pass as soon as it is safe to do so.

To contact a reporter for this story, email Dana Reynolds at dreynolds@infonews.ca or call 250-819-6089. To contact an editor, email mjones@infonews.ca or call 250-718-2724.

News from © InfoTel News Ltd, 2015
InfoTel News Ltd

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