Calgary police issue traffic advisory after crashes pile up in spring snow

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Winter driving conditions in Calgary has city police issuing traffic advisory
WATCH: With the crashes piling up during Friday’s morning commute, Calgary police issued a traffic advisory urging motorist to slow down and drive to snowy conditions. Doug Vaessen reports on day four of the spring storm – Mar 22, 2024

Crash scenes dotted the landscape on yet another icy commute in Calgary on Friday as the spring storm continued into its fourth day.

Calgary police issued a traffic advisory, warning motorists of icy conditions after a rash of collisions occurred during the morning rush. Stoney Trail Northwest saw three within a few minutes and kilometres of each other.

Sgt. Dylan Harris said motorists seemed unprepared.

“There have been multiple collisions throughout this morning due to the weather conditions and people not always driving to those collisions,” he said.

Leslie Horton, Global News traffic reporter, said black ice made the morning rush a mess for many drivers.

“You get some melting going on and then overnight it freezes,” she said. “Add a little fresh snow in and it’s a recipe for super icy driving conditions.”

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Since the snow event began Tuesday at 6 p.m., Calgary Police reported a total of 430 collisions through Friday at 11:30 a.m.  The vast majority — 310 — were non-injury.

Calgarian Christine Moss said too many drivers simply don’t pay attention to driving conditions.

“Everyone is in a hurry and they are driving too fast,” she said.

Ryan McRae said he finds some drivers taking unnecessary chances to save a few minutes in the commute.

“Just drive safe,” he urged. “Go the speed limit, don’t get ahead of yourself and take people over on the road, because I have seen a few of those.”

Chris McGeachy, spokesperson for the City of Calgary, said the city has additional crews to help keep roads clear with snow anticipated for the weekend. But, with snow continuing, he said it’s mostly still Priority 1 and Priority 2 routes that are getting the attention.

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“We have additional crews and crews working extra shifts, and of course contracted help,” he said. “We are making sure our material piles are staying up and ready for the event. Our crews are applying salt.”

Salt melts snow faster, but Harris warns drivers not to count on ice free conditions. He said sometimes this long into an event, people’s patience wears thin.

“Yeah, I think people certainly become complacent. As roads start to clear up a bit, they tend to go back to their regular driving habits. Sometimes we have issues like ice we can’t see and those types of things, and they are not keeping a safe distance from the vehicle in front of them.”

The city advised drivers to expect poor driving conditions to linger into next week.

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