October 26, 2013 2:41 pm
Updated: October 26, 2013 4:44 pm

RCMP reminding motorists to drive to conditions, ahead of first snowfall of the season

A truck leaves the road in a collision on Alberta's Highway 2.

Supplied, RCMP
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EDMONTON – With parts of Alberta expecting the first snowfall of the season overnight and into Sunday evening, RCMP are reminding motorists to use extra caution on the roads and drive to the conditions.

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“Some drivers are unprepared for the annual transition from the dry pavement of summer to winter driving conditions that can include snow and slush covered highways, black ice and blizzards,” said Superintendent Howard Eaton, officer in charge of “K” Division Traffic Services. “This first snowfall is a reminder and an opportunity to get prepared for winter driving, which means preparing our vehicles and adjusting our driving.”

While the Capital Region is only expecting a few centimetres of snow Sunday, officers urge motorists to to stay off the roads during major storms.

“If you must travel, plan to take the safest, shortest route possible and ensure you have your winter emergency kit in the vehicle,” RCMP said in a media release Saturday.

Officers also provided the following driving tips:

  • Keep your headlights on all the time
  • Ensure your vehicle is in a safe mechanical condition
  • Never use cruise control in winter conditions
  • It is not recommended to travel in winter conditions if your vehicle is equipped with summer tires
  • On a wet or slick surface, allow yourself at least three times the normal following distance to stop
  • Remember that bridge decks may be slippery even when other parts of the highway are not

RCMP suggest all drivers keep an emergency road kit in their vehicle, with the following supplies:

  • blanket or sleeping bag
  • extra clothing and footwear
  • emergency non-perishable food
  • candle in a deep tin
  • waterproof matches
  • first aid kit
  • flashlight with extra batteries
  • fire extinguisher
  • booster cables
  • ice scraper
  • snow brush
  • paper towels or rags
  • road map
  • compass
  • sand, road salt or kitty litter
  • shovel

Officers also recommend motorists have a fully charged cell phone on hand for emergencies.

Environment Canada issued a snowfall warning Saturday, for much of southern and western Alberta, including Hinton, Grande Cache, Jasper, Nordegg, Whitecourt, Edson, Fox Creek and Swan Hills. Anywhere from 10 to 20 centimetres of the white stuff is expected in those areas overnight. However, the Edmonton area isn’t expected to see quite that much snow.

“We’ve got a rain/snow mix, probably starting sometime overnight tonight,” Global Edmonton weather specialist Kevin O’Connell said Saturday of the Capital Region. “Into tomorrow, we’ve got snow in the forecast; could see accumulated snow of two to four centimetres, temperatures dropping to -5 C through the day tomorrow.”

Watch: Kevin O’Connell’s full weather forecast as of 7:10 a.m. Saturday

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