The winter driving course will remain optional

News 10 February, 2018
  • Photo courtesy
    Some drivers are stubborn to deny the reality of the conduct on a background of snow or ice.

    Matthew Payen

    Saturday, 10 February, 2018 01:00

    Saturday, 10 February, 2018 01:00

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    The caroms in a series of Wednesday evening gave water to the mill of those who wish that the winter driving course should be compulsory. A solution that is not envisaged by the Société de l’assurance automobile du Québec.

    The critics were many this week, in the open-line radio and on the social networks regarding the conduct of some drivers, after that 15 cm of snow fell on Wednesday night have put the mess on the roads. A person died in one of the cannons, Mont-Saint-Hilaire.

    Asked about the idea of mandatory winter driving course, the SAAQ is closed. “These courses exist, but this is not mandatory and it is not intended that it will become,” says Mario Vaillancourt, spokesman for the Company.

    According to our information, no country requires its drivers to attend classes on snow.

    Mr Vaillancourt adds that the fact that the driving course is conducted over 12 months allows young drivers to be confronted with the icy conditions.

    Reasoning not quite right, according to Mark Thompson, director-general of the Association of driving schools of Quebec. “Some students stop driving at the beginning of the winter, and take up their practical courses in the spring. Others all follow their course in 7-8 months and avoid the winter, ” he noted.

    Mr. Thompson provides, however, that the winter driving has been added to the guide that must be followed by the members of his association. “The ideal would be to be able to provide training on the track, so that people understand the reality,” adds Mr Thompson.

    Like several other providers, CAA-Quebec offers this kind of practical and theoretical courses, which are conducted on a half-day, at a cost of $250.

    Not the solution

    The former racing driver Bertrand Godin gives this kind of training, but more extensive, to the police. It is, however, not convinced that this is the solution for all. “Even a person who is used to driving on ice can have. Once launched at 80 km/h, it loses consciousness of the poor adhesion, ” he says.

    For him, the only solution is to follow the instructions, such as decrease speed, increase distance with the vehicle in front and ensure that we have good visibility. “I also advise giving little blasts of brake to evaluate the adhesion of the floor,” said Mr. Godin.