Burnaby RCMP pull over more than 150 vehicles due to snow-related visibility issues

BURNABY RCMP are advising drivers to ensure their vehicle is safe before they decide to drive.

At this time of year, that means clearing all the snow off your vehicle before getting on the roadways. 

Unfortunately, during Metro Vancouver’s most recent snowfall, it appears many drivers have not been taking the time to ensure their vehicles are clear of snow, said Cpl. Mike Kalanj on Thursday.

During a three-hour road safety check on Thursday morning, Burnaby RCMP’s traffic section pulled over more than 150 vehicles due to snow-related visibility issues.

As many as 125 of these drivers were given verbal warnings to immediately remove snow from their vehicles before proceeding. In some cases, only small portions of windows had been cleared, leaving minimal visibility for the driver. Other vehicles had several inches of snow on top that had not been cleared, creating a moving hazard on the road. 

Burnaby RCMP officers loaned many of these drivers their own snow brushes to properly clean their vehicles. 

A number of drivers stated that they knew that leaving the snow on their vehicle was a hazard, but they did not want to be late getting to their destination. 

“Being in a rush is not an excuse to drive an unsafe vehicle,” said Kalanj. “Getting to your destination late is better than not getting there at all. Not clearing your vehicle is a hazard to yourself and to others on the road.” 

Written warnings were issued to 16 drivers for “drive while view obstructed”. 

There were also 11 violation tickets issued: 

* 6 “drive while view obstructed”

* 3 “illegible licence plate due to excessive snow covering”

* 1 “excessive speeding” (101 km/h in a 50 km/h zone in this snowy weather)

* 1 “no driver’s license”


Why is this so important?


Heavy condensed snow on the roof of a vehicle poses a hazard because, as the interior of the vehicle warms, it creates a moisture barrier between the roof of the vehicle and the heavy snow pile. As this pile begins to come loose and shift on the roof, a hard braking will dislodge the large mass of heavy snow onto the front windshield. The wipers will not be able to remove the snow, necessitating an immediate stop in the roadway and creating a danger for that driver and everyone around them.


Section 7.05 (2) of the Motor Vehicle Act Regulations:


“No person shall drive or operate a vehicle on a highway while the person’s view of the highway or of any intersecting highway is unduly obstructed by any windshield sticker, sign, poster or other thing or material placed over or affixed to the windshield or any window of the vehicle.”


In other words, don’t drive if your view of the roadway is obstructed. 

With more snow in the forecast for the Lower Mainland, Burnaby RCMP is urging all drivers to plan accordingly and ensure their vehicle is clear from snow before they drive.