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Spring vehicle safety blitz in Toronto

Is your car read for the spring?
Is your car read for the spring?

Lyndsay Morrison, Staff writer

April 2, 2012 — Getting your winter tires off? You may also want to check and make sure your vehicle is safe for the road.

A vehicle safety blitz happened in the GTA this week
A vehicle safety blitz happened in the GTA this week

Dozens of police officers from across the Greater Toronto Area teamed up this week for an annual spring vehicle safety blitz at Woodbine Racetrack. 

They were looking for unsafe and unfit vehicles on the roadways, emphasizing that the spring is a perfect time to make sure everything is working properly. 

"Winter can be hard on vehicles," says Constable Cory Kostrya of the Ontario Provincial Police. "Rust is one component, and salt can do a lot of damage. So at this time of year, a lot of us are getting our winter tires off, it's a really good time to have a good check over your vehicle. Make sure everything's working and safe."

In a typical spring, potholes would be popping up on roads across the GTA, which can be damaging to vehicles. This past winter, however, was far from typical. 

"What we're finding is the milder winter obviously made it a lot easier on vehicles," says James Slykhuis of the York Regional Police. "We're seeing less suspension problems than we have past years because the roads aren't breaking up as bad with the potholes. They're still out there, though. We're still seeing some of them, and people have to pay attention to what they're driving on."

When the road breaks up in the spring, it can cause problems with brakes, springs and the shocks. Steering components can also be damaged from the bouncing. 
Slykhuis suggests getting your vehicle checked by a mechanic the next time you go in for an oil change.

Winter weather conditions can affect your vehicle
Winter weather conditions can affect your vehicle

"Check if some of your steering components are gone," he suggests. "The last thing you need when your travelling with your family is for your steering to let go on your vehicle."

Kostrya adds that the few winter storms we had in the GTA may have been enough to affect some vehicles. 

"Snow and salt equals rust. Anything can rust - sometimes your brake lines, steering components, frame components, floor board, etc. It's a really good time to get your vehicle checked now that the roads are clearing up!"

Now that the weather is getting nicer, police officers at the safety blitz are also reminding motorists to watch for motorcycles. 

"Sometimes they can be a little harder to see, so make sure while you're changing lanes and going through intersections you keep your eyes open for those smaller vehicles," says Kostrya. 

You can find highway conditions, traffic cameras and driving tips under the Roads section of our website.

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