With the lack of snowfall we've seen in the southeast corner of the province, it's easy to forget about the drivers that keep the roads clear and drivers safe. Snowplow operators are often overlooked on the highways and it's important to recognize them on the roads.
Bill Pacholka is the Southern Director of Snowplow Operations and he sees it far too many times where people are impatient behind plows, or pass them at high speeds.
"What the legislation today does, is they're treated the same as other emergency vehicles. Whether it's the police or a tow truck, when they're on the side of the road you have to pass at 60 kilometres an hour," Pacholka explained.
It's easy enough to remember. They have flashing lights and many people are put in danger when plow operators are passed dangerously.
Pacholka believes your best bet is to keep a good following distance and be cautious when you're stuck behind a snowplow.
"What happens sometimes is it might be clear, but then they encounter a snow drift. That's when you get the swirl of snow behind and you'll have zero visibility with that mini blizzard," he said. "So if you can't see, stay back."
Plow operators are already working long hours in treacherous conditions and the last thing they need is to worry about everyone else around them on the road.
"It's stressful enough with all the controls that they need to operate and having to watch out for other traffic as well. It is a difficult job for our operators, so any kind of help or courtesy that we can get from the travelling public is certainly appreciated," Pacholka said.
While we aren't expected to see snow in the short-range forecast, a few tips and reminders never hurt to help keep everyone safe on Saskatchewan highways.