With snow already falling in parts of Ontario, the province is making it easier for drivers to stay safe on the roads this winter.
Minister of Transportation Steven Del Duca was at a Canadian Tire in Toronto today, along with Arthur Potts, MPP for Beaches–East York, to remind drivers to plan ahead and to talk about how the province is keeping the roads safe.
Insurance companies in Ontario must now offer a winter tire insurance discount for all drivers in the province. Drivers should install four winter tires for better traction, handling and breaking in snow and ice — and they can have their auto insurance rates reduced by between two and five per cent on average. Drivers should also ensure their vehicles are winter-ready by getting a vehicle maintenance check-up and assembling a winter survival kit including items like a flashlight, blanket and shovel.
To help drivers plan ahead this year, Ontario has expanded Track My Plow to all 20 of the province’s winter maintenance contract areas, helping more people track the location of snowplows in their area. With more than 1,100 pieces of winter maintenance equipment on provincial highways to help fight winter storms, drivers are reminded to give them plenty of room and never pass a working snowplow.
Ontario has also added a new “forecasted road conditions” feature to Ontario 511 that predicts road conditions based on forecasted weather, precipitation, wind and temperature to help drivers plan their routes. The traveller information service also includes current reported road conditions, traffic cameras, weather cameras and more to help drivers stay informed.
Drivers are reminded to give themselves extra time when travelling in the winter to reach their destinations safely, and if the weather is bad, postpone their trip until conditions improve. If driving in poor weather, drivers should watch for parts of the road that look black and shiny as it may be icy.
Making it easier to stay safe on the roads is part of Ontario’s plan to create fairness and opportunity during this period of rapid economic change. The plan includes a higher minimum wage and better working conditions, free tuition for hundreds of thousands of students, easier access to affordable child care, and free prescription drugs for everyone under 25 through the biggest expansion of medicare in a generation.
Ontario’s roads are among the safest in North America. Between 1995 and 2014, the number of driving-related fatalities decreased by 48 per cent.
More than 12 million litres of anti-icing liquid were used last winter to help prevent ice and snowpack from forming on provincial highways.
Winter tires that are in good condition can shorten braking distances by as much as 25 per cent.