Beware slippery winter driving: Thunder Bay police

Thunder Bay Police say winter driving is back again and drivers should beware.
A woman is in hospital after she lost control of her SUV on Hwy 61 this morning. (Jeff Walters/CBC)

Thunder Bay Police say winter driving is back again and drivers should beware.

Traffic Sgt. Glenn Porter said roads are greasy today and collisions are expected.

"The nice weather that we had in the last couple weeks, people noticed that the roads were nice and bare and the speeds were really getting up there. We had a chance to get out and lay some speeding tickets," he said.

"But now, with the snow on the ground this morning, we're afraid that people are going to keep up with that habit of going a little bit too fast."

Police are asking drivers to increase their following distances and, when making turns, to remember that traction will be significantly worse.

Porter said the snow is sure to bring plenty of rear-end collisions caused by drivers who can't safely stop, and he expects the roads to stay slippery for at least the next 24 to 48 hours.

Two taken to hospital after multiple collisions

Ontario Provincial Police responded to several collisions Wednesday morning, including one that sent a woman to hospital with serious injuries. 

The first occurred on Highway 11-17 east of Mapleward Road around 7:30 a.m., when the driver of a westbound sport utility vehicle lost control, causing it to roll over and land in a ditch on the opposite side of the highway. She was taken to hospital with non life-threatening injuries. No one else was in the car at the time of the crash.

At about 8:45 a.m., provincial police, as well as firefighters and paramedics, were called to another vehicle rollover on Highway 61 between Arthur Street and the Harbour Expressway. Police say the driver of a northbound SUV lost control and struck a light pole, landing in a ditch. 

Thunder Bay firefighters had to use the Jaws of Life to remove the woman from the vehicle. She was taken to hospital with serious injuries.

Officers also responded to a two-vehicle collision on Highway 527, about 35 kilometres north of Highway 11-17, at about 10:15 a.m. Police say the driver of a southbound pickup truck lost control, crossed the centre line and collided with a northbound pickup. Both vehicles sustained extensive damage, but no injuries were reported.

Police shoot demonstration video

Thunder Bay police produced a video today with the hope of showing people "what speed means on greasy, snowy roads" and to give people "a better perspective on how far [a car] will travel when [the driver] hits the brakes." 

The video was recorded Wednesday morning in Innova Park, and shows an unmarked police vehicle going 50 km/hr. When the driver applied the brakes, it took seven car lengths to stop, or more than 45 metres.

Police noted that in the video a traffic cone is seen stuck into the snowbank at an angle, marking the stopping distance usually required when roads are dry and bare.


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