Transportation minister Jeff Yurek visited a maintenance facility on Friday to announce the province is making the winter commute easier by allowing drivers to track their plow and plan their route all at one stop: the Ontario 511 website.
“Keeping Ontario’s highways as safe as possible during winter weather conditions is a top priority for our government,” said Yurek.
“Winter is coming [and] snow has already fallen in many parts of the province,” he noted.
“Before heading out, check Ontario 511 for local highway information and to track snowplows in your area.”
“Track My Plow” now is available on Ontario 511 so drivers can track the location of snowplows and salt trucks.
And before the end of this year, the Ontario 511 website also will provide drivers with Waze publicly-reported incidents, traffic jams, and weather hazards.
Ontario 511 can be accessed via Twitter (@511Ontario), phone (dial 5-1-1), or web (ontario.ca/511).
With more than 1,100 pieces of winter maintenance equipment on provincial highways to help fight winter storms, drivers are reminded to give working snowplows plenty of room.
“Remember to slow down and drive according to weather and road conditions,” said Yurek.
“Please be patient, stay well back, and never pass a working snowplow.”
“Drivers need to take their time and drive defensively when we have poor road conditions to reduce the risk of being in a collision,” said OPP Interim Commissioner Brad Blair.
“We are all partners in keeping our roads safe for everyone,” he stressed.
Drivers should install four winter tires for better traction, handling, and braking in snow and ice.
They also should ensure their vehicles are winter-ready by getting a vehicle maintenance check-up and assembling a winter survival kit, including items like a flashlight, blanket, and shovel.
Drivers also should give themselves extra time when travelling in the winter to reach their destinations safely or, if the weather is bad, postpone their trip until conditions improve.
If driving in poor weather, drivers should watch for parts of the road that look black and shiny as it may be icy.