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Some road safety tips for the holidays

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A cyclist wearing goggles navigates through Winnipeg’s streets last winter. When driving this holiday season, make sure you keep an eye out for cyclists and give them plenty of space when passing.

RUTH BONNEVILLE / WINNIPEG FREE PRESS Enlarge Image

A cyclist wearing goggles navigates through Winnipeg’s streets last winter. When driving this holiday season, make sure you keep an eye out for cyclists and give them plenty of space when passing. Photo Store Photo Store

The holiday season is upon us, and I hope you are enjoying time with friends and family. For many of us, the new year is a time to reflect on the year gone by and to look forward to the year ahead.

Like many others, my family makes New Year’s resolutions. Many Manitobans make personal or financial resolutions during this time of year. I hope you will consider resolving to make our roads safer in 2014. There are a lot of ways to make sure you, your family, and your friends get where you are going safely. Here are a few resolutions I highly recommend:

1. Don’t drive while impaired by drugs or alcohol. Make a plan! For the next two weeks, you can call Operation Red Nose’s free designated driver program to get you and your vehicle home safe and sound!  When you call the Red Nose hotline — 204-947-NOSE (6673) — they meet you at your location, drive you to your destination in your own vehicle, then carry on to the next Red Nose assignment.

2. Don’t drive while you’re texting or talking on the phone. Wait until you arrive, or pull over your vehicle so you can use your phone safely.

3. Reduce your speed when driving in less than ideal conditions, and keep a safe distance behind other vehicles. Leave a few extra minutes to get there so you aren’t stressed and making bad decisions on the road.

4. Maintain your vehicle — get regular tune-ups, check your fluid levels and your tire pressure.

5. Wear your seatbelt at all times, and make sure young ones are properly seated in car seats or booster seats.

6. Clean the snow and ice off your windows, so you can see what’s coming! Clean the snow and ice off your lights, so the rest of us can see you!

7. Pull over to the right when an ambulance, fire truck, or police car is coming up behind you as quickly, yet safely, as you can.

8. Be extra careful when passing construction zones, and those whose workplace is in the roadway, including first responders and tow truck operators.

9. Give buses a break, and let them in. Don’t ever pass a school bus with its lights on and the stop sign activated.

10. Keep your eyes open for cyclists, even in nasty winter weather, and give them as much room as you can when passing.

Have a happy and safe holiday season.

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