Even with some temperature rising, a white Christmas is still in the forecast for Swift Current this year – and with snowfall, comes snowplows.
The Ministry of Highways is asking folks to be patient, slow down, and stay safe around those heavy machinery this holiday season.
Snowplow Operator Mike Holowka, said that every day they're out on the roads they run into drivers that are in a rush, which is simultaneously scary and frustrating.
"I would say my biggest fear is getting into a collision, maybe specifically with a bigger truck or a semi, and not being able to make it home," he said. "There's no point in being in a rush; get there safely."
Holowka was involved in a slow speed crash while clearing off Regina city streets, and though he described himself as lucky, he said it had shaken him up for a while afterwards.
"We don't want to see anybody getting an accident – public or us," he said. "We want everybody to be safe, and the more that people know and the more that people can listen to our personal experiences, the better."
Minister Jeremy Cockrill also chimed in, adding that there has been a total of five collisions involving snowplows this year across the province, and from their perspective, even one hit is too many.
"When you're on one of our level 1 roadways, Highway 11 or Highway 16 or Highway 1, and people are traveling at faster than 60 kilometres an hour, that can be devastating and can have real life impacts for people," Cockrill said. "So yeah, five so far this year and we hope we hope that's it."
See the few tips Holowka and Cockrill shared to keep everyone safe on the highways this season:
- Slow down when passing snowplows; every 10 to 15 kilometres, they will pull over to let other drivers by.
- Check the highway hotline before heading out on the roads, and steer clear of any closed highways.
- Keep at a distance – anyone getting caught up in the blizzard that the machinery kicks up, is too close.