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Letters  

Snow clearing inadequate

Re.: Multiple stuck semis (Castanet, Dec. 6)

I have never once missed a day of work due to snow conditions. I actually rather like driving in the snow and purposefully leave lots of time so I can enjoy the drive instead of white-knuckling it the whole way to my destination.

Today (Monday, Dec 6), however, I was speechless over the condition of the road as I drove from Kelowna to West Kelowna for my work—a 25-kilometre commute.

I left 15 minutes earlier than I normally do and just barely made it to work on time.

There is (no) excuse for the neglect of our roads this morning. We predict atmospheric rivers weeks out but we can't see a snow cloud approaching our city in time to deploy the blades, sand and salt to the roads?

Before you jump all over me about Highway 97 being provincial highway and side roads being city jurisdiction and am I really putting blame where it is due, all the roads were completely messed up this morning.

I drive three major roads in Kelowna before I reach the highway, then drive over the one and only bridge to make it to my job, followed by a lengthy drive on Highway 97 on the Westside. Every single inch of my drive was appalling.

I have been driving the same car in winter conditions for 13 years. My tires were up to the challenge, I always gear down instead of breaking in winter conditions, I left 15 minutes earlier than normal, I left nearly quarter of a kilometre between me and the car in front of me. What else could I have done?

For the first winter in my life, I may have to call into work due to winter road conditions. This is completely out of my control.

Will the government provide me with a CERB benefit to stay home on a snow day? After all, my safety and the safety of those around me is at risk in such conditions.

Seeing how the safety of people is such a high priority to the government, to the extent of taking away jobs and livelihoods of families, maybe the government should make winter tires free and accessible to everyone if they are not going to clear the roads.

Perhaps the government should make 4x4s free for those who cannot afford it, to make sure we are all protecting each other.

Or the government could do the very simple thing of holding up their end of the bargain of clearing the roads when conditions like this are on their way. I'll hold up my end of the bargain of making sure my tires are good, that I leave early for work, that I drive slow and safe.

If the government can't keep the roads clear for my safety and the safety of others, they better be prepared to start compensating me for days I am unable to make it to work. CERB Snow Days?

Don't agree? Then maybe all the other safety rules we've had to follow are ridiculous as well.

Shonah Nykiforuk, Kelowna



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