School children across the province will refresh their wintersafety skills as the 8th annual Winter Safety Day campaign kicksoff on Monday, Nov. 22. Staff from the Department of Transportation and Public Works willbe visiting elementary schools to talk to children about wintersafety. “We promote Winter Safety Day to raise children’s awareness ofsafety during the entire winter season,” said Ron Russell,Minister of Transportation and Public Works. “Information passedto children directly from snowplow drivers gives them a first-hand defence, helping them to stay safe during the wintermonths.” Winter Safety Day is an opportunity for schools to hostdemonstrations about winter safety and for snowplow operators totalk directly to students. Snowplows are sometimes brought to theschools so that children can see one up close and recognize themwhen they see one on the road. “The children always look forward to us visiting their schools,”said Paul Spicer, a supervisor with the department’s office inBerwick. “As part of our presentation, we bring the safetyequipment from the plow into the school and show the children. Wedress the principal or a teacher in the safety equipment — hardhat, safety vest and gloves. The children really enjoy thatpart.” Coxheath Elementary School in Coxheath, Cape Breton RegionalMunicipality, is one of the many schools visited each year by thedepartment’s snowplow operators. “It’s important for the children to know about safety on theroads at this time of year,” said Ann Sajatovich, principal ofthe school. “Having the plow operators come out and talk directlyto the students reinforces how dangerous winter weather can be.” Along with talking to the children, staff distribute WinterSafety Day colouring books that have helpful tips about stayingsafe. Children can also pass along winter safety tips to theirparents, since adults can do their part, too. Adults are remindedto avoid shovelling snow on the road, to park vehicles off theroad, and to keep a safe distance when driving behind a plow. The Department of Transportation and Public Works highwaysdivision manages more than 23,000 kilometres of roads in NovaScotia. It maintains 4,100 bridges and operates seven provincialferries. Staff provide services from district offices inBridgewater, Bedford, Truro and Sydney.