With Airdrie and the surrounding areas preparing for several days of snowfall in the coming week, motorists can expect to see an increase in snow plows and other road maintenance vehicles on the roads and the recent collision in Calgary's Southeast is a stark reminder of the dangers of speeding in the vicinity of road maintenance vehicles.
According to Calgary Police, the collision occurred on Thursday morning on Stoney Trail near the 52 Street Southeast interchange, sending a man in his late teens to the hospital with serious, life-threatening injuries.
Police said that the collision occurred when the snow plow was travelling westbound on Stoney Trail, doing weather-related maintenance on the roadway, when a half-ton pickup truck, also travelling in the same direction as the snowplow, suddenly changed lanes and struck the rear of the snowplow.
Both alcohol and excessive speed on the part of the pickup truck driver are being investigated as factors in this collision. The snowplow driver was transported to the hospital with minor injuries.
Last month, Alberta Mounties issued a warning about the dangers of speeding, especially in winter road conditions after a member of the Leduc RCMP traffic unit and another individual were sent to the hospital when a semi-truck hit the RCMP cruiser.
"The police vehicle was parked and stationary with its emergency lights activated in the fast lane when a passing semi truck struck both the police vehicle on the driver’s side as well as the vehicle involved in the first collision," RCMP previously stated. "The responding officer was sitting inside his police vehicle speaking with the driver of the vehicle involved in the initial collision when the police vehicle was struck."
As motorists prepare for wintery conditions, it's important to remember that passing a snowplow is not allowed when:
- The view along the side of the snowplow is obstructed
- Passing would impede the operation of the snowplow
- The act of passing cannot be done safely
"Patience is key. Operators will let you pass every five to eight kilometres, or when it is safe to do so," The Government of Alberta states on its website. "Drivers who fail to comply with the new rules could receive a $324 fine and three demerits."
In September, the province passed an amendment, which states that drivers in the lane closest to any roadside worker vehicle stopped at the side of the road with its lights flashing must slow down to 60 km/h. This law applies to all emergency responders as well as tow truck drivers and snow plow operators.
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