KUCHARUK: “sorry folks, I forgot it could be icy”

Why is it that the first real week of winter road conditions, it seems like no one can remember how to drive? It has barely been nine months since we were in danger of sliding through an icy intersection – did 75% of the population already forget how to navigate ice and snow?

This morning on my way to work, I spent half the time looking ahead and the other half looking in my rearview mirror swearing out loud about the person who was literally a half a car length behind me. I could see into the interior of their vehicle, their mask swinging on the rearview mirror, a poppy remained in their jacket lapel and I think they were chewing a toothpick. Too darn close!

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Contrary to popular belief, the first month of winter does not come with imaginary training wheels. We need to hit the roadways with all our faculties in place – there is no room for, “Sorry folks, forgot it could be icy”.

I appreciate the road reporting that happens on social media, but there are some which baffle me. After a night of heavy snowfall there are posts like, “How are the roads between Dawson Creek and Fort St John?”. What do you think the roads would be like? Bare and dry??? Let’s use some common sense here people. Secondly, there are many in our community who MUST travel the highways because of work, why not mitigate their risk by staying home when we can.

Like it or not, the next six months are going to be varying degrees of, “Stay home unless absolutely necessary” and, “Give yourself an extra half hour to arrive at your destination”. Our weather is going to be like a community potluck where the chili may appear to be delicious, but you could end up spending the night on the toilet – you just never know.

Oh, and while we are talking about heavy snowfall, let’s not forget the 6 inches of snow that has accumulated on the top of your vehicle. It all needs to be removed before you turn a wheel because there are a few things that can/will happen, a) the big pile of snow will suddenly slide onto your windshield, completely obliterating your view while you panic to turn on the wipers only to discover that they are not powerful enough to remove the heavy snow and you hit the ditch or b) the snow and ice will blow off and completely obliterate the vision of the person traveling behind you and they hit the ditch. Change out the words ‘the ditch’ with ‘a pedestrian’ or ‘oncoming vehicle’ if it changes your perspective.

Thanks for reading my imaginary TED Talk – happy winter driving!

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