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Just slow down, say RCMP

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The first major snow storm of the season had some communities in southern Manitoba reeling, but the rural municipalities of Headingley, St. Francois Xavier, Macdonald and Cartier emerged relatively accident-free.


Sgt. Denis Jolicoeur of the RCMP detachment in Headingley said while a few vehicles ended up in ditches on Sat., Nov. 10, there were no serious accidents.


Jolicoeur said most of the minor mishaps were the result of drivers failing to adjust slippery, snowy road conditions.


"The speed limit of 100 kilometers per hour is for ideal conditions," he said.


Jolicoeur added that because most people heard warnings about the first winter storm earlier in the week they likely decided not to travel.


Manitoba Public Insurance spokesman Brian Smiley said that about 45 claims relating to the Nov. 10 storm were reported by rural residents.

By comparison, approximately 600 claims were reported by Winnipeg drivers.


Smiley added that since many semi-trailers travelling on Manitoba highways aren’t registered with Manitoba Public Insurance, the corporation can’t provide accurate information on accidents involving those vehicles.


The Trans-Canada Highway from Headingley to Brandon was closed for about 12 hours from Saturday evening until the following afternoon.


Jolicoeur said highway closures followed consultation between police and public works staff. He said the aim was to prevent accidents and allow the highways workers to clear the road without having to work around traffic.


"We try to prevent more issues from happening," he said.


The closure of the highway resulted in semi drivers riding out the storm at several truck stops in Headingley. The manager at the Flying J Travel Plaza said all of the 192 parking spots at the business were filled.


Another 40 trucks found temporary shelter at the Headingley Husky Travel Centre, according to manager Paul Marciniw.

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