Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Let's continue to look at this...

I hadn't seen my Mom for a few days so against my better judgement I ventured out Sunday afternoon to Summerside in what were not very nice conditions... the roads were very slushy and the closer I got to Summerside the worst it seemed to get but I was driving a heavy SUV with new winter tires so I continued on slowly. When I got on the Blue Shank Rd I took a short cut on a secondary road over to highway # 2 and I can tell you I didn't feel safe even with the vehicle I had... after an hour’s visit with Mom the snow appeared to be changing to rain so I headed back to Charlottetown but by the time I reached Fredericton (PEI) it was snowing again and extremely dangerous... people were still lots of people on the roads and there were a few cars in the ditch but my guess is that most of the blame on a day like that has to be put on drivers like myself who shouldn't have really been out there in these types of conditions... I'm a bigger promoter of winter tires and a few years ago we enforced our own Company policy that requires all our vehicles to have 4 winter tires.... Ron MacKinley is a pretty practical guy and he's done the right thing restricting hand held devices while driving and I suspect by next year he'll have the supporting data to move forward on making winter tires mandatory using some tax relief for those who might have trouble affording the costs of such... this time last year I gave a response to the Guardian's Editorial on Considering the merits of winter tires and it might be worth looking at that post again it's great to see that our Government is looking into these kinds of safety issues as our weather patterns seem to be a lot more ice than snow these days...
Winter tire users in fewer crashes: P.E.I. study
Tuesday, January 5, 2010
CBC News
A study last winter of traffic accidents on P.E.I. found that six per cent of vehicles involved had winter tires, but the transportation minister calls the study inconclusive.
Ron MacKinley told CBC News on Monday his department has been recommending Islanders put winter tires on their cars, but he's not convinced the province should make them mandatory, as Quebec did in 2008.
For last winter's study, police on P.E.I. recorded whether the 1,522 vehicles involved in accidents between Nov. 1, 2008, and April 30, 2009, had winter tires installed, finding that 92 did, or about six per cent. The study was a simple one, MacKinley said, and didn't include information about the cause of any of the accidents or how many happened during poor weather conditions.
"It's not what you'd call a scientific study, but it does give us some data to go on," he said.
"We're not at this time prepared to legislate mandatory snow tires. What we want to do is work with the people and suggest that they have their snow tires and go from there."
The department does have some information on how many P.E.I. cars are equipped with winter tires. A few years ago transportation officials surveyed Island parking lots and found 60 per cent did.
MacKinley thinks that number is even higher now, and has asked for another parking lot count in 2010.
Police agencies are continuing to collect data on whether vehicles in crashes have winter tires, and MacKinley has asked his department to see what kind of information Quebec has gathered since its law came into effect.
MacKinley said he is reluctant to legislate mandatory winter tires, because he does not want to penalize people who only take their vehicles out if the streets are clear.

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