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Alberta RCMP urge drivers to prepare for changing road conditions this Easter long weekend

Click to play video: 'Alberta RCMP urge drivers to prepare for snowy conditions this Easter long weekend'
Alberta RCMP urge drivers to prepare for snowy conditions this Easter long weekend
It may be spring — according to the calendar — but as snow continues to fall in southern Alberta, drivers are having to face changing conditions. Meghan Cobb has more – Mar 29, 2024

With the Easter long weekend upon us, coupled with spring break for thousands of students across Alberta, RCMP are asking drivers to be prepared for busy highways.

“Whenever we have a long weekend or some extra time off, we definitely see more motorists hitting the roadways,” Const. Kelsey Davidge said Friday morning.

“I know winter often gets all the attention for hazardous road conditions, but spring driving has hazards of its own.”

In Calgary, fresh snow blanketed the city on Friday. A City of Calgary spokesperson said road crews are out 24/7 right now, responding to the light snowfall.

“The biggest message for people is, those low overnight temperatures can lead to the formation of ice,” Chris McGeachy said. “Our crews are out applying salt to help prevent that buildup, but there can be some slick sections, trouble spots such as hills, bridge decks and intersections.

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“Take plenty of time to get to where you need to go, plenty of space between your vehicle and the vehicle in front. And as always, make sure you’re prepared before you head out on the road.”

Click to play video: 'Traffic Tips: Importance of emergency preparedness on the road'
Traffic Tips: Importance of emergency preparedness on the road

Davidge said spring can lead to unpredictable road conditions as a result of Alberta’s sometimes unpredictable weather conditions.

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“It could be bright and sunny one minute, and then snowy and icy at another time. Also, with driving within our province, you may see different weather conditions,” she explained.

“Just be careful when on those roadways and be prepared for those change of weather, change of road conditions. And make sure you’re setting yourself up for success and your family to have those things within your vehicle that could help you if you’re ever in a situation where you needed them.”

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Davidge offered the following tips for drivers:

  • Scrape all ice off windows
  • Remove snow from vehicles, including headlights, taillights and roof
  • Slow down on slippery, snowy roads
  • Stock vehicle with extra warm clothes, snacks, snow shovel, booster cables, tow rope or chain

“If you do become stranded on the highway, whether you’re in a collision or have to stop for any reasons, do not leave your vehicle,” she said.

“You can turn on your vehicle periodically to make sure that you’re warm and dry, and try to conserve fuel, but make sure your tailpipe remains clear of ice and snow and that you stay in your vehicle.”

Ryan Locking and his daughter Jade were heading west from Calgary to Invermere, B.C., on Friday. Locking was pulling a fifth-wheel to their seasonal site on Windermere Lake.

“A little worried,” he said of the highway conditions. “But from what I saw, once you kind of get out of Alberta, it looks pretty good. But we’re going to be cautious and if it looks bad we might have to turn around.”

Carol and Mike Murphy were heading into B.C. for a month-long trip into the United States.

“I don’t like bad roads so hopefully it’s OK,” Carol said. “We’re only going to Golden today, so doing it in short spurts.”

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Bob Wolfe was leaving Alberta after picking up a horse, heading to Kamloops on his way home to Quesnel, B.C.

“Four-wheel drive, tires, slow down, take our time, no hurry. That’s why we’re doing it in two phases,” he said of the trip.

“Frustrated is a good word for the weather. We left home the other day and it was like 10, 12 above and dry weather.”

Davidge said drivers can expect to see RCMP out patrolling Alberta highways throughout the long weekend.

For the latest road conditions across the province, follow 511 Alberta.

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