Help keep roads safe this winter

Drive safely around snowplows and sanders on highways in winter.

Spotlight Staff

Drivers are advised to help keep Alberta roads safe this winter by driving to conditions and giving snowplows room to work.

Unpredictable weather is a hallmark of Alberta, states a government news release Dec.6.

It can change rapidly and drastically to create hazards on Alberta roadways.

“We can all play a role in keeping our roads safe by slowing down and driving to conditions,” Transportation Minister Brian Mason says.

“Alberta Transportation works closely with highway maintenance contractors to keep Alberta highways clear and open to travel.

“They are out there, in force, in challenging conditions, working to ensure the roads are safe for the travelling public and for their own families, friends and neighbours.”

Road crews also caution motorists to be safe around winter equipment.

“Our first priority during the winter months is safety, for both the public and our plow operators,” says Ron Glen, CEO of the Alberta Roadbuilders and Heavy Construction Association.

“Drivers need to exercise caution when approaching a snowplow and should not try to pass. “Our operators will pull over to allow vehicles to pass when it is safe to do so.

“We are out in full force to clear the roads as soon as possible, sometimes in less-than-ideal conditions, and we appreciate the public’s assistance.” Albertans can find the location of snowplows in real time and get the latest road conditions by downloading the 511 app at

Quick facts:

-During winter storms, priority is given to clearing major highway corridors with high volumes of traffic, critical commuter routes and emergency services routes.

-Snowplows drive between 30 and 50 km/h when blading snow and applying salt and sand to roadways. Drivers are advised to use extra caution when travelling near snowplow equipment by leaving extra space and only passing when it’s safe to do so. Plow operators pull over frequently to allow queued traffic to pass.

-Highway maintenance contractors and Alberta 511 monitor road conditions 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

-The number of collisions spike in the winter months, with significantly higher (20 per cent or more) numbers in November, December and January.

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