Monday, November 23, 2009

Department of Education on the Defensive: Sends Communications Director to Defend Position on Wheels website
We couldn't help but notice Valerie Kilfoil, the Director of Communications for New Brunswick's Department of Education, posting comments to John Mahler's article about winter tires on the website in an attempt to diminish his findings. (Click here to read the article).

If it wasn't so pathetic, it would be laughable, unfortunately, nothing about this entire situation is funny.

It's utterly tragic and the sad part is that the Department is setting itself up for another tragedy by sticking to the "party line" and refusing to listen to what all the industry experts are saying. One doesn't have to be an expert in Greek tragedies to know that pride is the downfall of man (and women too).

Here's are Valerie Kilfoil's postings on the website.

Tire expert David Hoar explains the use of winter tires on the back and ribbed on the front for rear wheel drive vehicles to CBC Radio: "There's slightly more traction on the rear to keep the straightening effect. Where we have this identifiable condition on the highway, a loss of lateral control on the highway, we usually end up in one or two things happening. The vehicle will either end up heading for the ditch or will head over into the other lane. Very seldom does it ever stay straight once it loses its lateral control. The ditch is one thing. Going over to the opposite lane can be very, very dangerous. And very often, the vehicle will present sideways to oncoming traffic. That is the identifiable condition which with we are concerned with." The Government of NB has asked Transport Canada for a clear directive on the safest tires for rear wheel vehicles used for mainly highway driving and will accept thier recommendation. Valerie Kilfoil, Department of Education

Submitted by Valerie Kilfoil at 3:00 PM Wednesday, November 18 2009

The Government of New Brunswick is following the advice of experts. Experts agree in most instances four winter tires are safest. However, when tire experts (particilarly motion and design engineers)are asked specifically about rear wheel, highway driven vehicles, the industry standard is winter tires on the back and ribbed tires on the front. Highway tractor, inner city buses, delivery trucks or anything that is rear wheel drive in Canada use winter tires on the back and ribbed on the front. The busses New Brunswick uses to transport students to extra curricular activites are rear wheel drive vehicles. Valerie Kilfoil, communications, department of Education

Submitted by Valerie Kilfoil at 2:59 PM Wednesday, November 18 2009