Snow topped several peaks around Skidegate Inlet last Thursday for the first time this season. After seeing a rise in car crashes earlier this year, police are warning drivers to take extra care given the shorter days and frosty conditions. (Andrew Hudson/Haida Gwaii Observer)

Car crashes are up, and the icy season just arrived

Local police reminding drivers to drive sober and drive to conditions

An increase in car crashes on Haida Gwaii has police warning drivers to take care, especially now that the days are short and roads can be icy.

From January to November this year, Haida Gwaii had 34 reported vehicle collisions — a 78 per cent rise from the 19 reported over the same time last year.

Impaired driving is a leading cause, said Corporal Rob Brennan of the Queen Charlotte RCMP, but speed has also been a factor in several collisions.

With the dark, rainy season underway, Cpl. Brennan said police are reminding people to drive sober and drive to conditions — the posted speed limit is only the maximum allowed in ideal weather.

“Drivers can be charged for driving too fast for road conditions,” Brennan said in an email, noting that the charge carries a $167 fine and three penalty points on a driving record.

Local RCMP also recommend using four winter tires, with a rating for severe winter.

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