The rest of Canada is pretty good at winter. They can, for the most part, remember to do things such as change their tires, keep snow shovels and salt on hand, and clean off their sidewalks.
In the Lower Mainland, we’re not very good at remembering any of those things.
Who can blame us? We get a heavy snowfall maybe once every three or four years, and once a decade or so it sticks around afterwards instead of being washed away by warm rain.
It would be ludicrously expensive for coastal towns to double their snowplow fleets, only to have them sit idle three years out of four.
But we can make changes that are less expensive and make us better prepared.
Some provinces, including Quebec, mandate that vehicles must have snow tires installed from late fall to the end of winter.
In some countries, they take things even farther. Nordic countries have much stricter driver training, including teaching people what to do if skidding on a slick surface and how to get out of a spin.
Education on the smaller things would also help. The RCMP and ICBC do remind people every year that they should brush snow off their cars – especially the windows. In the last few weeks, most of us have passed someone driving while shrouded in snow, peering through the narrow aperture made by the windshield wipers.
So far, Langley hasn’t seen too many crashes caused by the snow, something that is likely due to the fact that heavy snowfall has come on weekends and holidays.
We haven’t suddenly become better winter drivers.
But we could become better, and we should.