The Regional Municipality of Durham

News Release

Durham Region residents encouraged to drive safely this winter

WHITBY, ON December 16, 2015

The Regional Municipality of Durham, Works Department would like to remind residents to drive with care when facing winter driving conditions.

“Durham’s winter maintenance crews will work hard to keep Regional roads clear during the winter months,” says Kerry Brennan, Manager of Maintenance Operations. “Conditions can change quickly and driving in snow and ice can be dangerous. Please remember to slow down and drive with care and according to weather conditions, to keep Durham’s roads safe for everyone.”

Throughout Durham Region, roads are anti-iced, which involves applying brine to dry roads before a storm. During a storm, pre-wetted salt is applied to roads. Brine is sprayed onto the salt to help salt on the road, instead of bouncing off. During storms, snow plow operators must travel at reduced speeds, so it is important to be patient and slow down when driving behind them. Although there are many mirrors to help the operator see around the vehicle, visibility is still limited, especially beyond the “wing” (the scoop that extends to the right of the vehicle). It is important to never pass a snow plow.

Bridges, hills, valleys, curves and sheltered or shaded areas require extra caution when driving, as these sections of road freeze quickly and remain frozen even after temperatures rise.

Residents are encouraged to prepare vehicles for winter driving. Start by changing to winter tires, which improve safety and increase traction on slippery, snow-covered or icy roads. Keep an emergency kit in the trunk of your vehicle with items such as blankets, a shovel, a flashlight, a flare, food and a first aid kit. Also, use windshield-washer fluid rated for -40°C. Finally, be sure to check the weather and driving conditions before going out on the roads. Allow for extra driving time, or wait until conditions improve, if necessary. For more winter preparedness tips, visit

These simple precautions are particularly important in the northern areas of Durham Region, where freezing roads and snow may be experienced sooner than in the lakeshore communities.

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