Toronto police, OPP urge drivers to install snow tires as winter weather impacts motorways

Toronto and the GTA are under winter weather travel advisories for 5-10cm of snow, marking the first major snowfall of the season. Michelle Mackey is talking to Torontonians to see if they're prepared for the weather.

By Lucas Casaletto

Toronto police and OPP Highway Safety Division are reminding motorists to consider installing snow tires as soon as possible, with slippery road conditions leading to a rapid increase in collisions.

The city was hit with the first snowfall of the season on Tuesday, and a winter weather travel advisory was put in place in Toronto and across parts of the GTA.

Environment Canada noted that the GTA could receive between five to 10 cm of snow by the time it tapers off to light snow early Wednesday morning. Some areas could get more than 10 cm.

With some snow falling ahead and during Tuesday’s commute, this prompted Toronto police to issue a reminder that drivers must slow down in these conditions, with several reports of slippery roads making life miserable for motorists.

“Use caution when approaching intersections. If you haven’t done so, make an appointment to get your winter tires on your vehicle,” Toronto police Const. Laura Brabant said.

Const. Sean Shapiro, a Toronto police spokesperson for the traffic services unit, also strongly advised drivers to winterize their vehicles and pay extra attention if conditions are treacherous.

“Even though we live and experience winter annually, we forget these things. We tend to continue driving in a way that goes unchanged,” Const. Shapiro said.

“We drive as though it’s the summertime. And we really have to acknowledge that winter is different.”

Tony Tsai, vice president of corporate communications and services for CAA South Central Ontario, said now is the perfect time to plan ahead.

“Depending on the speed and weather, winter tires can help reduce braking distance up to car lengths compared to all-season tires,” Tsai said on Tuesday.

CAA also cautions every driver to get their car battery checked to ensure it can handle freezing temperatures.

OPP respond to single-vehicle rollover, car was not winterized

On Tuesday afternoon, OPP Sgt. Kerry Schmidt reported a single-vehicle rollover on the eastbound section of Highway 407, just past Highway 410.

Sgt. Schmidt noted that the vehicle, operating without snow tires, flipped over from Highway 410 and landed on the other motorway.

“This car came across the northbound 410 ramp. You can see the debris where it lost control and went into the ditch,” Sgt. Schmidt said.

“That’s how fast it happens. The first day of any snow in the GTA, we’ve had quite a few crashes already, but this one could have been much more serious.”

Sgt. Schmidt says the driver was extricated from the vehicle and was not seriously hurt.

“All-season tires. Not the snow tires that could have helped. Not saying it would have, but it might have.”

Meanwhile, the national weather agency is warning GTA drivers of poor road visibility due to heavy snow.

With files from CityNews reporter Michelle Mackey

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