Motorists planning to drive through the notoriously stormy Cobequid Pass in northern Nova Scotia now have another way to check road and weather conditions before heading out.

The Department of Transportation and Infrastructure Renewal has installed a second highway camera on the Cobequid Pass section of Highway 104.

"This new camera provides more information for people planning to travel over the Cobequid Pass," Deputy Premier Frank Corbett said Tuesday in a news release. 

"Weather can vary widely across the province during the winter months, and we encourage everyone to check road conditions before getting behind the wheel."

The new camera is located at Lornevale Station, near the Mines Bass River Road overpass. The other camera on the Cobequid Pass is located at Westchester, about 40 kilometres from Springhill.

In November 2008, as many as 1,500 vehicles were stranded overnight on the toll highway when a sudden storm made the section of the Trans-Canada Highway from the toll booths to Glenholme impassable.

High winds and heavy snow created whiteout conditions. The situation was compounded when a couple of trucks jackknifed, blocking the road. Motorists who tried to swerve around them to continue on toward New Brunswick became stuck, completely blocking the way.

Highway cameras are attached to Road Weather Information Systems sites that have special sensors embedded in the road and on nearby towers to collect data on weather conditions affecting the road surface.

There are now 47 highway cameras on the department's website. Images from all of Nova Scotia's highway cameras are available online at www.gov.ns.ca/tran/cameras/camera.asp.

The highway camera page on the department's website receives up to 250,000 visits per month in winter. 

The cameras are part of the province's extensive road condition information system, which allows travellers to see weather and road conditions on computers, and to hear road conditions by calling 511. Road conditions can also be accessed on cell phones and hand-held devices via Mobile 511 at m511.gov.ns.ca.