With reports of a winter storm approaching in coming days and potential heavy snow across areas of the province, motorists are reminded to adjust driving habits for winter road conditions and to remain alert when following or approaching oncoming highway snowplows.

“Keeping Manitobans safe on our highways, especially during winter conditions, has always been our government’s priority,” said Infrastructure Minister Ron Schuler. “Winter driving in Manitoba can be challenging but the province’s snow removal crews are ready and equipped to clear our highways, and we urge motorists to practice safe driving measures to ensure every trip is a return trip.”

All snow-clearing equipment has flashing blue warning lights and drivers should stay well back of all equipment, noted Schuler. Motorists should not attempt to pass a snowplow anytime it is in operation and should slow down when passing approaching snowplows.

Manitoba Infrastructure is responsible for maintaining the 19,000 km highway system to provide safe and timely travel throughout the province during the winter season. All provincial highways are inspected regularly during the winter to determine if action is needed and to provide current information on road conditions for motorists. Manitoba Infrastructure monitors weather forecasts and plans its operations with a fleet of approximately 340 truck plows, de-icing equipment and motor graders.

The province has also invested over $400,000 in snow clearing agreement programs with 32 communities that are signed annually. These investments increase private sector participation and municipal government partnerships to stimulate economic growth and promote timely levels of service delivery.

Driver safety tips

  • Before you head out on the highway, check for road and weather conditions by calling 511.
  • Be cautious in traveling on overpasses and bridges. The surfaces on these structures can freeze quickly due to no ground insulation.
  • Don’t rush. Give yourself five or 10 extra minutes to get to your destination safely.
  • See where you’re going. At this time of year, keeping windshields clear is essential so make sure windshield washer fluid is topped up and windows are clear of snow and ice.
  • Allow more time to stop. Traction is reduced when roads are slippery it takes more time to come to a complete stop. If you don’t have winter tires, it’s not too late to get them.
  • Leave more space. Don’t tailgate at any time and remember that following distance should be increased when travelling at higher speeds or in poor visibility.