Thursday, December 6, 2012

Community Column by Don Butt (December 2012)

(Town of Mono, ON) This month the first thing I want to do is correct an error in last month’s column and apologize as I usually check my facts carefully . In regards to bicycles, it is not illegal to ride side by side, although for several reasons I think it should be, but both riders must pull to the right for following traffic.

On a different note, we are coming up to the Holiday Season and bad weather is inevitable in our area, so remember that driving in winter is different than summer driving. We must allow for road conditions as well as weather conditions, which can mean slippery roads, snow packed roads, reduced visibility, blocked vision (snow piles) and other problems.

Make sure your car is winter serviced and you have proper tires for the season. If you are buying a car (new or used) consider ABS brakes. My friend Doug Annett at the Oakville Skid Control School swears by them and with over 40 years in driver training, I agree with him. They have saved my neck several times and I hate to drive in winter without them. 

The important thing in bad weather and poor road conditions is slow down and adjust your driving to the conditions. Clearing snow from your vehicle and making sure your windows are clear is absolutely essential. 

Watch the traffic around you, remember they are dealing with the same conditions that you are. Leave more room between you and other vehicles, never tailgate. When you are following big trucks, stay well back. Several of us checked this once using my small truck. He could not see me (the truck driver) until I was back 72 feet (24 metres) from the rear of his truck. Drive safely this winter!

Safety Tip
Slow down on bridges and overpasses, which ice up more quickly than grade level roads. (This tip comes to you from Doug Annette and the Skid Control School at Oakville , Ont.

Road Watch
For those who do not have access to a computer, our forms are still available at Mono Plaza and OPP at Primrose. Otherwise use our web site on the Internet.

Don Butt is currently the Public Relations and Media Contact for the Mono Community Policing Committee. If you would like more information on anything covered in Don’s Column or would like to see a topic of public interest or safety covered; post a comment below.