The Regional Municipality of Durham

News Release

Durham Region residents encouraged to drive safely this winter

WHITBY, ON November 24, 2016

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

“Cold weather has arrived, and along with it comes snow and ice, which can make driving difficult and potentially hazardous,” says Kerry Brennan, Manager of Maintenance Operations. “Durham’s winter maintenance crews will work hard to keep Regional roads clear during the winter months, but we are also reminding residents to slow down and drive according to weather conditions to keep Durham’s roads safe for everyone.”

Throughout Durham Region, roads are anti-iced, which involves spraying 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 keep 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 plow 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 also 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.

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.

If you have a concern about a Regional road, please contact your local depot. For more information, please visit

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