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Take care on Suffolk's roads plea

PUBLISHED: 12:20 02 February 2009 | UPDATED: 22:20 05 July 2010

POLICE are urging motorists to take extra care on the county's roads, with more snow forecast today.

Chief Inspector Mike Bacon, from the Constabulary's Roads Policing Unit, says: "It is inevitable that the snowy weather will make driving more hazardous, but there are a few simple precautions that any driver can take:

"Only undertake necessary journeys and keep an eye on the weather forecast.

POLICE are urging motorists to take extra care on the county's roads, with more snow forecast today.

Chief Inspector Mike Bacon, from the Constabulary's Roads Policing Unit, says: “It is inevitable that the snowy weather will make driving more hazardous, but there are a few simple precautions that any driver can take:

“Only undertake necessary journeys and keep an eye on the weather forecast.

“If you have to go out, take a fully charged mobile phone and emergency clothing and warm drinks. Ensure that you have plenty of fuel, and if you can, put a shovel and some matting in the boot. You may not need them, but together with a vacuum flask and a warm coat, they can make all the difference if you do get stuck.

“Make sure your vehicle is up to scratch, with well maintained lights and tyres and carry de-icer. Importantly don't drive until the windscreen is free from snow, frost or mist.

“Allow more time for your journey with additional stops en route, as winter driving tends to be more demanding. And if there are poor weather conditions and visibility, remember to slow down and use dipped headlights.”

Suffolk Police's top tips for winter driving include:

Ask yourself - is your journey essential?

Check the local and national weather forecasts.

Listen to local and national radio for travel information.

Tell someone at your destination what time you expect to arrive.

Make sure you are equipped with warm clothes, food, boots and a torch. In snowy conditions, take a spade.

Clear your windows and mirrors before you set out and carry a screen scraper and de-icer.

Adjust your driving to the conditions as hail, heavy snow and rain reduce visibility.

Use dipped headlights and reduce your speed.

Dazzle from winter sun can be dangerous. Keep a pair of sunglasses handy and slow down.

In wet weather, stopping distances will be at least double those required for stopping on dry roads. This is because your tyres have less grip on the road. In wet weather you should keep well back from the vehicle in front. This will increase your ability to see and plan ahead.

Remember - test your brakes if you have driven through a section of flooded roads before you drive at normal speed.

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