We are having to get used to some new terms in our provincial road reports. Neil Gobelle of Manitoba Infrastructure and Transportation tells us the changes took effect Friday.
He explains normal seasonal driving is now called "bare", snow-packed or ice-covered sections will now be called "partly covered" and fully snow or ice covered roads are being called "covered roads". He adds there will also be secondary descriptions to indicate whether the cover is now or ice. The definitions were developed in conjunction with the Transportation Association of Canada and provide standard, concise terminology that helps drivers make decisions based on consistent information.
Gobelle adds we will also notice quite a change in colours on their web page to go along with the new terms. He says the change is being done as part of a nationwide move to make road condition terms the same in all provinces. Manitoba is the first to make the move.
Infrastructure and Transportation Minister Steve Ashton says, "The changes adopt new vocabulary for winter-driving conditions which will benefit all drivers as Manitobans and anyone travelling through the province from another jurisdiction will have consistent road information."
The road conditions online service is one of the most-visited websites in government. The site gets about 2,300 visits on a typical winter day but usage can surge to over 45,000 visits per day during storms.