Winnipeg Free Press - PRINT EDITION

Reducing fender benders

  • Print

In Winnipeg, the saying goes, with every first snowfall of a new winter season, motorists have to learn how to drive all over again. Collision statistics show that the lessons of the last go-around with ice and snow are too soon forgotten by too many, and rear-enders and fender-benders take their annual toll.

That toll is most personal when resulting in deaths and injuries, but it also affects the pocketbooks of insured vehicle owners as claims paid by Autopac affect ratepayers' premiums. The Highway Traffic Act requires drivers to drive prudently -- adjusting speed for the conditions, but some jurisdictions have taken additional precautionary steps to cut the number of collisions at predictably dangerous times of the year for traffic.

Winnipeg and Manitoba are cool to some of these ideas -- there is no consideration, the province responded to reporter Jen Skerritt's inquiries, of adopting Quebec's mandatory snow tire law. It is an expensive proposition, particularly for low-income families and there are other options that can be studied first. There is a plan to expand the use of brine spray, previously applied on bridges, to prevent icing up on regional roads this winter. The city would do well to target, more broadly, the most troublesome intersections that get polished to a glassy finish when the temperature promotes skidding on snowy streets.

Edmonton has used variable speed limits on roads to reduce maximum speeds during hazardous weather. Anecdotally, it is believed the policy has contributed to the reduction in vehicle accidents. That could be useful on Winnipeg's high-speed arteries, where habit frequently overrides prudence.

The Highway Traffic Act permits municipalities to pass bylaws reducing speed limits, with the approval of the highway traffic board. The city should plot the combination of weather and road conditions to predict when and where collisions historically have occurred most frequently. That would be worthy of a pilot project, combining public education with enforcement to help Winnipeggers remember the lessons of the last fender-bender season.

Editorials are the consensus view of the Winnipeg Free Press’ editorial board, comprising Catherine Mitchell, David O’Brien, Shannon Sampert, and Paul Samyn.

Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition August 18, 2011 A10

Fact Check

Fact Check

Have you found an error, or know of something we’ve missed in one of our stories?
Please use the form below and let us know.

* Required
  • Please post the headline of the story or the title of the video with the error.

  • Please post exactly what was wrong with the story.

  • Please indicate your source for the correct information.

  • Yes

    No

  • This will only be used to contact you if we have a question about your submission, it will not be used to identify you or be published.

  • Cancel

Having problems with the form?

Contact Us Directly
  • Print

You can comment on most stories on winnipegfreepress.com. You can also agree or disagree with other comments. All you need to do is be a Winnipeg Free Press print or e-edition subscriber to join the conversation and give your feedback.

You can comment on most stories on winnipegfreepress.com. You can also agree or disagree with other comments. All you need to do is be a Winnipeg Free Press print or e-edition subscriber to join the conversation and give your feedback.

Have Your Say

New to commenting? Check out our Frequently Asked Questions.

Have Your Say

Comments are open to Winnipeg Free Press print or e-edition subscribers only. why?

Have Your Say

Comments are open to Winnipeg Free Press Subscribers only. why?

The Winnipeg Free Press does not necessarily endorse any of the views posted. By submitting your comment, you agree to our Terms and Conditions. These terms were revised effective April 16, 2010.

letters

Make text: Larger | Smaller

LATEST VIDEO

Key of Bart: No Time Left for Stu

View more like this

Photo Store Gallery

  • A one day old piglet glances up from his morning feeding at Cedar Lane Farm near Altona.    Standup photo Ruth Bonneville Winnipeg Free Press
  • Marc Gallant/Winnipeg Free Press. Local/Standup- BABY BISON. Fort Whyte Centre's newest mother gently nudges her 50 pound, female bull calf awake. Calf born yesterday. 25 now in herd. Four more calfs are expected over the next four weeks. It is the bison's second calf. June 7, 2002.

View More Gallery Photos

Poll

Do you think the Jets' three pre-season losses in a row are a sign of things to come?

View Results

View Related Story

Ads by Google