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Sandblasted! Dozens of vehicles pelted by City of Calgary sanding truck

Click to play video: 'City of Calgary looking into possibility that truck blasted vehicles with sand'
City of Calgary looking into possibility that truck blasted vehicles with sand
City sanding trucks have been out in force as Calgary deals with icy roads, but the city is looking into one truck after dozens of cars were sand-blasted. Elissa Carpenter reports. – Dec 6, 2022

With the mercury dipping into the minus 20s during the overnight hours the past couple of days, the city has been busy laying down a mixture of sanding chips and salt, to keep drivers safe while navigating cold Calgary roads.

But what’s going on the roads may also be dinging your vehicle’s paint, windshield, windows or sunroof.

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Oksana McKay is one of dozens of Calgarians whose vehicles were pelted with small gravel and sand, not once or twice, but at least four times while a sanding truck was laying the mixture in the early hours of Dec. 2.

She was unaware until she saw video that shows a city truck sanding a three-block stretch between 24 street and Woodpark Boulevard S.W.

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“All those sounds of the rock chips hitting — I guess it’s pretty frustrating. Like, if I had a cracked windshield or something like that — I’m in school. That’s something I can’t afford to replace,” said Oksana McKay.

At the time, 53 vehicles were parked along the road, including McKay’s SUV.

With each pass of the truck, the video shows more tiny, sharp small stones and sand hitting the vehicles at a rapid rate.

McKay and other residents weren’t happy when they saw the video and left wondering if there is a way to sand the roads without pelting vehicles so vigorously.

“Oh, I’m sure there’s got to be ” said McKay. “Even if they just tone it down so it doesn’t go so far, because people aren’t even driving where the vehicles are,” she continued.

Video of the incident has been shared with the city, which is investigating but says what was caught on tape isn’t the way things are supposed to be done.

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A statement from the Calgary roads department reads, in part, “In areas where parked cars are present, our operators are able to adjust settings on our sanders to reduce application rates and are trained to do so.”

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The city said it will be speaking with the operator, and checking over the vehicle in question to make sure there were no equipment malfunctions at the time.

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