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Advice for motorists.

Dated: 12 Jan 2010

Police are urging drivers not to be overly confident on the region's roads - with the thaw presenting motorists with new challenges.

Although road conditions across the Northumbria Police force area have improved since the heavy snow and low temperatures last week, officers are continuing to ask motorists to take care on the region's roads.

Superintendent Jane Simmons of Northumbria Police's Operations Department said: "Although we are not seeing the same weather hazards as last week there are still potentially dangerous conditions on our roads.

"The continuing low temperatures carry with them the risk of ice especially from melting snow.

"Drivers need to continue to exercise caution on the roads; motorists should not presume that just because there is no snow on the road there is no ice.

"Standing water caused by the thaw can also cause problems, especially as some gullies are blocked by snow preventing water from draining away."

Northumbria Police is advising motorists to exercise caution and remember the following advice for driving in wintry conditions:

  • Moderate your speed to match the conditions but try not to brake sharply, use the gears instead to decelerate

  • Maintain a safe distance from the vehicle in front - stopping distances are longer on wet or icy roads

  • Ensure you have adequate visibility by clearing front and back windscreens and all windows/wing mirrors before setting off

  • Keep your windscreen washer bottle topped up, preferably with the addition of winter screen wash

  • Clean your headlights front and rear and use dipped headlights when driving in poor visibility, including heavy rain as well as snow

  • Be alert for pedestrians walking on roads when footpaths are too snowy or icy to use

  • An ice scraper and de-icer should be carried for day to day use, whilst other useful items include: A torch, warm clothes or a blanket, boots, first aid kit, a shovel, a battery, jump leads, a tow rope

  • Food and a warm drink should be taken on longer journeys.

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