TAC Approves New Snow Removal Equipment Visibility Guide

Monday, January 19, 2015

A Snow Removal Equipment Visibility Guide has been approved by the Chief Engineers’ Council of the Transportation Association of Canada (TAC).

The guide was developed through a volunteer committee comprised of representatives of TAC’s standing committees on Road Safety, Traffic Operations and Management, and Maintenance and Construction. The objective of the guide is to enable road authorities and winter maintenance service providers to increase snow removal equipment visibility and to work towards increasing the consistency of the appearance of snowplows across Canada.

A jurisdictional review outlined that:

  • snowplows should be visible and distinguishable from other vehicles
  • visibility from the rear of the snowplows is a problem for motorists
  • visibility of the full size of the snowplow is needed for motorists when passing  
  • visibility needs to consider the range of driver ages, day and night, as well as rural and urban conditions
  • lighting on the front of the snowplows appear adequate

Many Canadian jurisdictions use different snowplow configurations with respect to signing, lighting, colour, shape and size. This lack of consistency makes it even more challenging for drivers to correctly identify a snowplow and respond appropriately. Uncertainty, slow response and inappropriate driver reactions can lead to collisions.

Motorist safety is enhanced when snowplows can be detected and recognized with adequate time to respond appropriately. Visibility and consistency of appearance are the key factors for detection and recognition.

A notice of publication will be posted to TAC’s website once the Snow Removal Equipment Visibility Guide is available for purchase in the Bookstore.




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