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Manitoba RCMP warn motorists about driving down closed highways

Strong winds caused multiple highway closures around Winnipeg earlier this week. Sean Leslie / Global News

If you’re ignoring road closure signs around the province this winter, you’re not only putting yourself at risk, but the lives of emergency responders as well.

That’s the message Manitoba RCMP are trying to get across this week on social media, reminding motorists of the fines that exist for ignoring road closures.

In a tweet Tuesday, they said a trip down a closed highway could net a $230 fine, and points against your licence.

Unit Commander for Westman Traffic Services, Sgt. Mark Hume told Global News decisions to close highways aren’t made easily or without consultation as it’s known thousands of drivers could be affected.

If the call is made, it’s for a good reason – safety.

“A lot of people don’t understand, they see the road closure sign or the hear it and they look around and say, well the weather’s not bad here or I don’t see any obstacles here, but they don’t realize that further down the road there is, and we try to stop traffic at a major hub where people have the amenities to be able to spend a few hours or the evening,” Hume said.

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READ MORE: Manitoba Highways reopened after high winds caused problems Monday night

Depending on the conditions, Hume said highway drivers need to be prepared to not get home some nights. He added that many members of his unit – including himself – carry an extra set of clothes and an overnight bag just in case.

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