Resource Road Safety

There are over 620,000kms of resource roads across BC which are used by both industrial users and recreational users. They fall into several categories:

  • Forest Service Roads (FSRs)
  • Petroleum Development Roads (PDRs)
  • Private roads
  • Non-status roads
  • Wilderness roads
  • Spur roads
  • Permit roads

Resource roads are not built or maintained to public roadway standards and pose various risks. Road width, line of sight, road surface, visibility, wildlife, level of maintenance and heavy industrial traffic are only a few resource road hazards.

All resource road users are encouraged to exercise caution. Expect the unexpected. Even though there may not be active logging in the area, there may still be other industrial users such as oil & mining exploration, silviculture and forest management. 

Driving on resource roads requires skills and knowledge unique from operating on other roads. 

This video shows some of the hazards of driving on resource roads and explains how BCFSC's Resource Road Driver Training Program can help drivers develop the skills and knowledge to travel safely.

Driver Training Courses:

Work Here, Play Here, Stay Safe Here - This video shares personal insights and safety protocols to help you stay safe when using BC resource roads.

  • Loaded Log Trucks - can weigh 10 times more than a regular pick-up, have limited manoeuvrability and can take up to 300 feet to stop.
  • Rules of the Road - Each district may have different policies.  Local Road Safety Information.  It is good practice to yield to all industrial vehicles. Pull into a designated pullout when possible or as far over to the right (STOP!) and give them enough space to pass.
  • Communication - Resource roads are radio-assisted. Two-way radios are recommended.
  • Speed - Reduce speed - road conditions and traffic levels can be unpredictable.
  • Visibility - Travel with your headlights and taillights on always. 
  • Passing - Do not pass a vehicle unless it has pulled over and indicates that it is safe to do so - even when indicated it is safe, pass cautiously.  
  • General Safety
    • Generally if kilometre markings increase, you are travelling further from town.
    • Pack extra emergency supplies, eg. first aid equipment, water, food and blankets. 
    • Let someone know where you are going and when you are expected back.

Resource Road User Safety Guide

It is critical that resource road users understand and follow resource road safety rules.

Resource Road Use Safety Tips:

  • Follow the rules of the road.
  • Drive with your headlights on at all times.
  • Stay on your own side of the road.
  • Most resource roads are radio assisted. If you have a radio, make sure you're on the right frequency and follow calling procedures. If not, follow a vehicle that has a radio.
  • Expect the unexpected. Always be prepared for oncoming traffic.
  • Have a safety check-in plan in place. There is no cell phone coverage on many of BC's resource roads.
  • Carry an emergency kit with you that includes food, water and a way to keep warm.
  • Traffic travelling in a down direction has the right of way. Clear 'down' or 'loaded' traffic by finding a pullout and wait until the vehicle has proceeded past you. If no pullout is available, find a wide spot and pull over.
  • Do not pass an industrial vehicle until that vehicle indicates that it is safe to do so. When passing, do so with caution.
  • Obey all speed controls. General speed limit is 60km/hr.
  • Wear your seatbelt at all times

BC Forest Service and Resource Roads are busier than ever. Both Industry users and the public have a key role in resource road safety. Knowing how to use a mobile radio and following road procedures is critical to the safe use of these roads.

The standard resource road radio communications protocol, radio channels and signs were developed by the radio communications working group. The Ministry of Forests, Lands and Natural Resource Operations (Ministry of FLNRO) lead the implementation and evaluation of the program. Industry Canada is taking the greater lead role as implementation of the standard protocols spreads to other areas of the province.

As of 2017 all Forest Districts within the Province have implemented the new resource road and loading channels and resource road radio communication protocols. The standard bank of Resource Road and Loading Radio Channels (40 channels) are available at local mobile radio shops who are aware and prepared to program radios with the new channels.

ISED communications:

Notice to Radio Equipment Suppliers & Radio Communication Users

Standardized Resource Road Channel Notice (Jan 22)

Note: as resource roads are in transition to the new Resource Road Radio Channels, it is recommended that road users retain current radio frequencies until such time that they are no longer required.

Where posted, road users using mobile radios must use the posted channels and call protocols. All road users are reminded that forest service roads and the majority of resource roads are not radio controlled but that they are radio assisted.

In areas where transitions from the old radio channels are occurring, it is recommended that all users exercise additional caution when traveling on resource roads during the transition period. This should be communicated to all affected employees and contractors.

Find more details at the Ministry of FLNRO website

The Resource Road Maintenance Guideline has been developed by a group of subject matter experts and stakeholders in response to an initiative from the Log Truck Technical Advisory Committee (LTTAC). The purpose of the initiative is to provide industry with a guideline for implementing a road maintenance program that ensures that resource roads are maintained for safe operations. The need for a specific focus on log hauling has been identified as the configurations, weight and maneuverability of log trucks increases the risk of incident when roads are not maintained adequately to provide safe operations. 

The Resource Road Hazard Reporting Tool has been developed to provide road users with an effective mechanism to report hazards that affect safe operations on resource roads based on the parameters identified in the Resource Road Maintenance Guideline. 

Safe winter driving takes extra skills, knowledge, preparation and time than driving in summer on clear, dry roads of summer.

Snow, ice, and cold temperatures make roads more slippery and cause your vehicle to react differently.

Access our Winter Safety Resources to help you prepare for winter conditions on the road.