January 7, 2014 11:15 pm
Updated: January 8, 2014 9:43 am

Winnipeg drivers dinged

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WINNIPEG — If you’ve crashed on Winnipeg’s icy rut-filled roads, one city councillor has a piece of advice for you: Upgrade your vehicle.

“I think they are safe if Winnipeggers adjust their driving conditions and obviously, the lesser of a vehicle you have, you don’t want to take your Yugo out doing 60 kilometres per hour on a 60 km/h road,” Coun. Justin Swandel said Tuesday.

The St. Norbert councillor said he didn’t have a problem driving to work Tuesday morning in his all-wheel-drive vehicle.

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“I drove in this morning on Pembina (Highway). I drive a little Subaru, and the cars I saw having trouble were two-wheel-drive, very small cars,” said Swandel.

Andrew Single crashed his two-wheel-drive on the weekend. He’s losing five merit points and will pay higher insurance premiums next year because the crash was his fault.

“The weather conditions are terrible. People are sliding. They shouldn’t put everyone at fault,” said Single. “If you’re not driving recklessly, why are you at fault?”

Even though the city says these are the worst driving conditions in decades, MPI said there won’t be any exceptions.

“We’re not in a position where we’re not able to waive or not apply five demerits from a financial perspective,” said Brian Smiley.

But a CAA Manitoba spokeswoman said MPI should be pushing the city to do a better job of plowing the roads to reduce the risk for drivers.

“There’s an opportunity for Manitoba Public Insurance to be talking to the city to be asking what more can we do to keep the streets safe,” said Liz Peters, public affairs manager for CAA Manitoba.

MPI says it’s not in their mandate to lean on the city so for drivers like Single, there’s no choice but to pay up.

© 2014 Shaw Media

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