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Snow Safety

ACT Policing is urging drivers to think safety before heading up to our local mountains to see the snow this winter.

Each winter police and other service agencies assist drivers who have found themselves lost, bogged or who have had a collision on slippery mountain roads.

ACT Road Policing’s Detective acting Superintendent Donna Hofmeier said today that all drivers must think safety before heading into the mountains.

“We regularly respond to incidents where ill-prepared and inexperienced drivers get into trouble in the mountains,” said Detective Acting Superintendent Hofmeier. 

“Drivers are reminded that these are relatively remote areas with extended response times for police and other emergency services.

“We are asking drivers - if you don’t have experience driving in the mountains, please reconsider your trip.”

Sergeant Adam Kite, from NSW Traffic and Highway Patrol, is reminding motorists to carry tyre chains this weekend, with snow forecast to fall over the coming days.

“Remember to leave more space between your vehicle and others, especially when travelling up and down the hill.

“Make sure you drive to the conditions and plan your journey, leaving plenty of time to get to and from your destination safely,” Sgt Kite said.

ACT Policing has issued the following advice for all drivers looking to head up to the mountains to experience the snow.

 

Preparation before heading off:

  • If you have never driven in these conditions – ask a more experienced friend or family member to drive on the trip.

     

  • Where possible use a 4WD. These are the safest vehicles to drive on wet muddy roads. 
  • Always check for road closures before setting off on your trip. These are listed on the ACT Government website.
  • Always take appropriate clothing (including waterproof footwear) and supplies should your journey be longer than expected.
  • Be patient and avoid travelling in these areas at night time.
  • Let someone know of you plans. They can assist if you get into trouble and are out of phone range.   

Driving in the mountains:

  • Turn on your headlights to increase visibility in foggy conditions.
  • Ensure your windscreen wipers are working effectively and your vehicle is mechanically sound.
  • If conditions are hazardous, always reduce you speed accordingly. Increase your braking distance by leaving ample room between your vehicle and the vehicle in front of you.
  • Apply your brakes in a steady and controlled manner. Braking hard and suddenly on wet dirt roads can cause you to lose control. Do not accelerate quickly after stopping; apply gentle pressure to your accelerator to avoid skidding.
  • Surface moisture or dew can freeze and become ‘black ice’. Take particular care when travelling on roads in these conditions.
  • If heavy sleet or snow make driving too difficult, pull over safely to the side of the road and wait until conditions improve.

 

If stopping to play in the snow:

  • Always consider where you stop your vehicle.
  • Pick a safe spot off the road but not in a location where you may get bogged or stuck.
  • Ask a passenger to check parking areas before driving in. This is even more important if you’re in a 2WD vehicle.
  • Remember that hypothermia can happen quickly. Make sure everyone in your group remains safe and well.

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