ISP offer tips ahead of snowfall - KFVS12 News & Weather Cape Girardeau, Carbondale, Poplar Bluff

ISP offer tips ahead of snowfall

(Source: KFVS) (Source: KFVS)

Illinois State Police are warning drivers to take the necessary precautions ahead of the snowfall expected in the first week of January in southern Illinois.

“Winter weather brings additional challenges and responsibilities for drivers,” said District 19 Commander, Captain Cory Ristvedt.  “We ask that drivers be well prepared:  Allow extra time to reach your destination, ensure passengers in the vehicle are securely restrained, drive defensively, and confirm that your vehicle is properly maintained to handle the effects of cold temperatures,” added Captain Ristvedt.

Although much of the Heartland is yet to see substantial snowfall so far in the 2016-2017 season, a winter weather event in mid-December delivered a formidable blow to thousands of motorists.

Missouri State Highway Patrol Officials in the St Louis area, said in a tweet they responded to more than 3,757 calls for service, 1,522 of which turned out to be collisions.

Six of those were fatal.

“Our area wasn’t hit nearly as hard, but that system was not comparable to what we’re seeing here and now.” Said IDOT district 13 engineer Keith Miley on Wednesday. “In that system, we all saw a few days of rain leading up to it, and a really sudden drop in temperature. The rain made it so pretreatment wouldn’t have been effective.”

Following mainly dry conditions in the Illinois 13 corridor of southern Illinois, IDOT crews were actively pre-treating roads with salt brine on Wednesday.

“This is something we should be able to handle without too much trouble, but people should always be careful.” Miley said.

Illinois State Police also want to remind motorists to yield to emergency and snow removal equipment. 

Scott’s Law (Move-Over Law) requires drivers to reduce speed, change lanes if possible, and proceed with due caution when approaching emergency vehicles. 

Further, a new law that took effect on January 1, 2017, requires motorists to slow down and move over for any disabled motorist exhibiting flashing hazard lights. 

Other safety tips from Illinois State Police include:

  • Make sure someone is aware of your travel route.
  • Dress warmly – choose layers of clothing in anticipation of unexpected winter weather emergencies.
  • Keep your gas tank at least two-thirds full to prevent the vehicle’s fuel line from freezing.  Plenty of fuel is also important if your vehicle becomes stranded.  
  • Don’t crowd the plow – remember, a snowplow operator’s field of vision is restricted. You may see them, but they may not see you.
  • Watch out for black ice – roads that appear clear may be treacherous. Take it slow when approaching intersections, off-ramps, bridges, and shady areas – all are prone to black ice.
  • Have an emergency car care kit that contains jumper cables, a flashlight, a small ice scraper, blankets, gloves, food items, water, and a first aid kit.
  • Carry a cell phone AND charger.

Always wear a safety belt.  

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