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UPDATED: Slippery roads cause minor mayhem for Saanich commuters

Police cars blocked access to Glanford Avenue south of McKenzie Avenue during Tuesday afternoon’s rush hour
Anthony Wagner


Police cars  blocked access to Glanford Avenue south of McKenzie Avenue during Tuesday afternoon’s rush hour to prevent cars from using the slippery street.

Several collisions had already occurred by the time the road was closed. One car had gone off the road, severing a power pole.


The  morning commute also resulted in a handful of minor crashes in Saanich, including one involving a B.C. Transit bus.

Most collisions happened on the busy Pat Bay Highway, beginning at 5:45 a.m. when two separate incidents were reported at the same time.

In one, two vehicles slid off the road near Royal Oak. The other saw a collision between a car and a tractor trailer at Quadra Street.

An hour later, Saanich police were called to Sayward Road at the Pat Bay, where a car went off the road. The driver apparently lost control of his car, after overcorrecting his steering.

A minor collision between two cars was reported around 10:15 a.m. on Cedar Hill Cross Road near Reynolds Avenue.

A little later, a crash between a transit bus and a car was reported on Gordon Head Road near Ferndale Road.

"Thankfully, there haven't been any injuries reported," Sgt. Dean Jantzen said Tuesday, acknowledging that more snow was expected throughout the week.

Saanich public works crews spent overnight Monday and Tuesday using a salt and brine mixture to try and keep ice off the roads.

"We have all our equipment out. Most of the major and collector roads are in good shape," said Colin Doyle, Saanich's director of engineering. "Our major concern is if the salt and brine get diluted to the point where they're no longer effective, so we'll be out and continue to apply the mixture."

Saanich has six trucks it uses to apply the brine to the roads. The trucks are also equipped to plow snow, but Doyle says that has not been necessary given the minimal amount of snow accumulating on roadways. That means smaller, residential streets are at the mercy of the weather and even a little snow can turn icy overnight.

"Another reminder to drivers is the conditions are dramatically different between main roads and side streets," Jantzen said. "Even a small incline becomes treacherous if the road is icy."

Police also responded to a vehicle that was abandoned, blocking a lane of traffic Tuesday morning in West Saanich.

"Abandoning your car in the middle of the road is not appropriate if you get stuck. Contact a towing company," Jantzen said.

Police are advising drivers to stay off the road, whenever possible.