Merritt RCMP have been kept busy as the first taste of winter comes to the high mountain passes and several area highways were affected by heavy snowfall, slippery conditions and plunging temperatures during mid October’s storms.

“Lots of motor vehicle incidents on the highway, obviously with the heavy snow that’s been drawing our attention quite a bit,” said Staff Sgt, Maj. Steph Drouin.

“Luckily, we’re not speaking of lots of accidents that cause injuries, but lots of minor accidents with cars in the ditch.”

Drouin also notes that RCMP have been noticing some inappropriate post-accident maneuvering by drivers who have ended up off the road.

“We’ve had some cases where motorists, as opposed to calling a tow truck, they use a friend or passerby with a homemade winch to bail themselves out of the ditch, if you will. That’s caused some additional concerns for me because now not only do you have motorists attention taken away from the road because they’re looking at a car in the ditch, but now they’ve got additional cars to maneuver around because of these cars simply trying to get themselves out of the ditch as opposed to calling a tow truck.

“And while that may be appropriate on a small, rural roadway certainly when you’re talking about the Coquihalla how your speed, multiple lanes, changing weather pattens, it’s not very good. We’ve given warnings about that.”