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Manitoba motorists safer now says provincial government

Manitoba's Infrastructure Minister Ron Schuler announced new road condition cameras Wednesday.
Manitoba's Infrastructure Minister Ron Schuler announced new road condition cameras Wednesday. Josh Arason / Global News

New cameras added to the provincial highway network make Manitoba roads safer.  That was the message given by Infrastructure Minister Ron Schuler Wednesday.

“As every Manitoban knows, heading out on the highway in the winter poses some distinct challenges for motorists,” Schuler said.

RELATED: Winnipeg wakes up to icy conditions

“The addition of 25 road condition cameras throughout the province will help Manitobans see what conditions are like on many of the roads they’re planning to drive on before they put their keys in the ignition,” Schuler said.

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The newly installed cameras brings to 33 the total number of locations providing still images to the Manitoba 511 system. The cameras, along with the province’s fleet of snow-clearing equipment, make Manitoba ready to “rise to the annual challenge posed by winter to the province’s highways and roads,” Schuler said.

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Cameras have been installed at strategic locations along provincial highways including:

  • Trans-Canada Highway (PTH 1) at­ Oakville, Deacons Corner, Kirkella (being relocated), West Hawk, Hadashville, west of PTH 12, Austin, PR 332, Oak Lake and Brandon;
  • PTH 2 at junction of PTH 2 and PR 83;
  • PTH 5 at Ste. Rose south;
  • PTH 6 at Williams River, Devils Lake, junction of PTH 6 and PR 236, St. Laurent, Fairford and Ponton;
  • PTH 10 at Minnedosa, Souris River Valley, junction of PTH 10 and PTH 60, and Birch River;
  • PTH 16 (Yellowhead Highway) at Shoal Lake, Russell – Assiniboine Valley West, and Arden;
  • PTH 59/101 (North Perimeter Highway); and
  • PTH 75 at Ste. Agathe, junction of PTH 14 and PTH 75 (Letellier), Morris (north side of town) and Emerson (at the border).

Schuler said that the camera locations were selected to give road maintenance crews and motorists an actual view of road conditions, with more cameras still to be added in time.

Cameras are intended as an aid to drivers, helping them make informed driving choices while out on Manitoba roads. Ultimately, safety is up to the drivers themselves.

“We all need to remember to slow down and drive to conditions.  It’s much less important that we get wherever we’re heading on time than it is to just get there. And sometimes, we need to realize that sometimes we’re better off staying home altogether when the weather is bad,” Schuler said.

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Road collisions in Manitoba claimed 107 lives in 2016, making it the deadliest year of the last five.

READ MORE: Road safety the focus of ‘national day of remembrance’ for crash victims

Manitoba Public Insurance’s winter tire program was discussed as another way Manitoba motorists can better their chances on the roads through the snow season.