Caution urged for motorists as bad weather is forecast for region

MOTORISTS are being urged to take caution to day as the bad weather hits the region.

Northumbria Police is advising road users to take additional care on the region’s roads in the current icy conditions, and with further snow forecast for today.

There are still difficult driving conditions in places, particularly on untreated minor roads.

Chief Superintendent Gary Calvert said: “There remains widespread icy conditions and freezing temperatures, and as such drivers are advised to take care on the roads.

“Adverse weather has been forecast for later today, as such people should ensure they take precautions, only go out if it’s necessary, and if they do need to go out to make sure they wrap up warm and drive carefully.

“We continue to monitor weather forecasts and conditions across the force and have officers out and about on the roads and in our communities this morning.”

Heavy snow showers are forecast for later on today (Friday).

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

· Moderate your speed to match the conditions and 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 snowy or icy roads

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

· 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, with the addition of winter screen wash

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

· An ice scraper and de-icer should be carried for day to day use, other useful items in your car in adverse weather conditions include: a torch, warm clothes or a blanket and a flask with hot water, boots, a first aid kit, a shovel, a battery, jump leads and a tow rope.

In terms of personal safety, people are reminded of the follwing:

· If you go outside wear several layers of thin clothing and keep dry to prevent loss of body heat.

· Watch out for signs of hypothermia: Uncontrollable shivering, slow/slurred speech, memory lapse, drowsiness, loss of feeling in and pale appearance of fingers, toes, nose and ear lobes.

· Take care when shovelling snow. Cold air makes it harder to work and breathe which adds some extra strain on the body and can be the cause of heart attacks in vulnerable people

· People should be prepared to make alternative transport arrangements if necessary

· Check local TV/radio/weather forecasts for latest weather advice

· Ensure you keep an eye out for the vulnerable and elderly in your communities