Heavy snow combined with the OC Transpo bus strike actually helped reduce the number of accidents on Ottawa’s roads yesterday.

Ontario Provincial Police reported only 15 minor collisions on the Queensway by early afternoon when 13 centimetres of snow had fallen, although dozens of vehicles had also slid into ditches. No injuries were reported.

“I’m actually quite surprised,” said OPP Const. Tracey McDonald. Because the snowplows had trouble keeping up, drivers slowed down. And traffic speeds were further reduced by heavier vehicle volume due to the OC Transpo bus strike.

“That may be helping because they can’t speed,” McDonald said.

Ottawa police also reported fewer accidents than normal due to slower speeds and the bus strike.

“It’s helping in reducing the accidents,” said Const. Alain Boucher, adding by mid-afternoon there had been only 53 minor accidents with no major injuries, when 100 would be the norm.
Gatineau police also reported a quiet day, despite the greasy roads.

Geoff Coulson, a warning preparedness meteorologist with Environment Canada, said a further 10 centimetres of snow was expected last night, tapering to lighter snow for today’s morning rush hour, with a total of 25 to 30 centimetres overall.

“The worst of the accumulating snow will be tapering off overnight,” Coulson said.
McDonald said Ottawa drivers have had enough practice with winter driving so far that they weathered yesterday’s snowstorm well.

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