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Stay Back Stay Safe

Stay Back Stay Safe

Sharing roads and sidewalks with snow clearing equipment can create special challenges for motorists and pedestrians. Both motorists and pedestrians are urged take steps to adjust their behaviours to winter conditions, and to think about safety first when in the vicinity of any snow clearing equipment and sanding trucks.

Stay Back, Stay Safe is aimed at reminding everyone about winter safety best practices because the equipment used in the winter may have blind spots which can make it difficult for equipment operators to see vehicles, especially when visibility may be hampered due to poor weather conditions.

The plowing and sanding crews need room to do their work efficiently and effectively, so it is in everyone’s best interest to Stay Back, Stay Safe.

After a snow fall, or when snow and ice accumulations are high, you can expect sanding and snow clearing operations to occur. The public is reminded to be patient, allow additional travel time to get to destinations, or take alternative routes if needed.

YOU can be better prepared by following a few simple tips when you encounter snow clearing equipment:

  1. SLOW DOWN AND KEEP WELL BACK from snow clearing equipment.
    The recommended distance is a minimum of 15 metres (approximately 3 car lengths) to leave plenty of room for the equipment to work.
    When a sand spreader truck is applying salt or sand to the road surface, slow down and stay away from the spreader truck to prevent your vehicle from possibly being hit with salt or sand.
  3. BE VISIBLE and keep headlights on at all times when travelling.
    These machines may cause snow clouds that reduce visibility.
    Snow clearing equipment moves at much slower speeds than other vehicles, and operators also stop frequently to assess the areas they are clearing. Freshly ploughed streets can also be slippery until sand/salt trucks have applied the appropriate material.
  5. DO NOT PASS ON THE RIGHT hand side of the equipment.
    Often snow and debris are plowed to the right and pose a hazard to motorists.
  6. BE CAUTIOUS when approaching snow clearing equipment from behind.
    These machines often make several passes over the same area, which requires travelling in reverse. Vehicles travelling too close are at risk of damage or collision with the machinery.
    If you are unsure of what a piece of equipment is about to do, wait and make eye contact with the operator – they may finish the task, or if safe to do so, they may stop and wave you through before continuing their work.
    These machines often make several passes to clear a roadway.  If you drive through a windrow, you may risk getting stuck in the snow and ice, possibly damaging your vehicle, or you may scatter the snow, creating a hazard for other motorists.

The flashing amber and blue safety lighting on these machines is used to increase visibility and warn motorists of on-going snow removal operations. Using the tips above, you can help to ensure that an encounter with snow removal equipment remains safe and uneventful.

  • Snow Clearing Operators are often out clearing snow in unfavorable weather conditions in order to make the roadways as safe as possible for you and your family.
  • The equipment is working to clear streets as efficiently and safely as possible, not to get in your way.
  • Our dedicated, hard-working operators will do their best to keep the roadways clear and safe.
  • It is up to you to be cautious and adjust your driving behaviour to winter conditions.
  • Please Stay Back, Stay Safe!

Did you know?

  • Depending on conditions, approximately $30 million is spent on snow removal each year.
  • The City of Winnipeg uses an average of 75,000 tonnes of sand each winter to improve traction on the roadways of Winnipeg.
  • There are more than 300 pieces of heavy equipment utilized during a major snow clearing operation.
  • Drive safe - keep well back from snow plows and sanding trucks when they are travelling and when they are engaged in snow clearing activities.

Snow Safety Tips for Home

  • Park vehicles in appropriate off-street parking locations such as driveways and parking lots, as vehicles parked on the roadway hinder the performance of the snow clearing process.
  • Teach children to stay back from roads and sidewalk when they see the plowing equipment coming.
  • Some machines are capable of plowing multiple lanes of snow at one time; avoid passing or driving beside the equipment.
  • Portable basketball goals, hockey goals, skate board ramps and other portable structures should be removed from the street and driveway edge to ensure that plowing equipment can clear the area without damaging the equipment or portable structures.
  • Homeowners who have an automated refuse collection service should put away carts/bins in a timely manner and store them in a location that will not interfere with snow clearing operations.
  • Keep trees trimmed back along streets.

Last update: August 30, 2019
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Safe Roads Manitoba