MEDIA RELEASE: Are you Winter Ready? CAA, TPS, OPP and the Ontario Government join forces to prepare motorists for the season aheadNovember 9, 20233 min read
Cold and winter weather is about to settle in and CAA South Central Ontario (CAA SCO), Toronto Police Service (TPS), Ontario Provincial Police (OPP), and the Ontario Government want to know: are you winter ready?
The four organizations have joined forces to help inform Ontarians that now is the time to get your winter tires installed, check your car battery and stock your car with an emergency kit with all the essentials needed for the winter months.
“Our weather can be unpredictable, especially in the winter. It’s important to think ahead and prepare before driving conditions become hazardous,” says Nadia Matos, Manager External Communications, CAA SCO. “It all comes down to safety and there’s no time like the present to ensure you and your car are properly equipped.”
TPS, OPP and the Ontario Government are also reinforcing the importance of driver behaviour.
"The safety of Ontario’s roads is always a top priority, and we are continuing to work closely with our road safety partners to promote safe driving habits this winter season,” says Prabmeet Sarkaria, Minister of Transportation. “Road safety is everyone’s responsibility, so when you’re heading out, always remember to slow down and drive according to weather and road conditions. Together, we can keep Ontario’s roads and highways safe for everyone this winter.”
“Winter driving can be stressful. Motorists need to be alert at all times when on the road, even in the most routine circumstances like driving to and from work,” says Police Constable Sean Shapiro, Toronto Police Service. “That includes slowing down and driving according to weather conditions and ensuring you give yourself plenty of time to get to your destination.”
This year motorists also need to be aware of new amendments to the Highway Traffic Act.
“It is now illegal to pass snowplows working side by side on Ontario highways. Only pass a snowplow if the lane is completely clear of any part of the plow, including its blade,” says Sargeant Kerry Schmidt, Ontario Provincial Police. Offenders may face a fine ranging from $150 to $1,000.
This winter, before heading out on the road motorists can download and use the 511 app to check the weather and road conditions before they leave home. The 511 app can be found at 511on.ca or in the app store on your mobile device.
Motorists should also refer to some other tips to help make their winter drive a safer one:
- Keep your gas tank at least half full at all times. Cold weather causes condensation in the system, which can lead to fuel-line freeze-up and can prevent your car from starting.
- Remove excess snow from your car before driving off. Any snow left on the roof might slide down onto the windshield and obstruct your vision.
- Keep your wiper fluid full. Keep extra fluid in your trunk. Make sure it’s rated for -40℃.
- Pack a fully stocked emergency kit. The kit should include a flashlight and extra batteries, warning devices (e.g., flares, reflective vests/strips), a first aid kit, blankets, jumper cables, non-perishable food and water plus a phone charger. Be sure to also keep an ice scraper, small shovel and snow brush handy in your car at all times.
Nadia Matos Manager, External Communications
Media spokesperson and subject matter expert on winter driving, road trips and travel.