Drivers urged to Stay Safe in the snow this long weekend - Southern Region

Thursday, 10 June 2021 08:15:22 AM

NSW Traffic and Highway Patrol Command and ACT Road Policing are urging drivers to consider safety first before heading up to our local mountains to see the snow this winter.

Each ski season, police and other service agencies assist drivers who have become lost, bogged or who have had a crash on slippery mountain roads.

Traffic and Highway Patrol Command’s Chief Inspector Brian Pedersen is reminding motorists headed to our alpine regions to carry tyre chains this weekend, with snow forecast to continue over the coming days.

“Always drive to the conditions and always remember to leave more space between your vehicle and others.

“Plan your journey well, leaving plenty of time to get to and from your destination,” Ch Insp Pedersen said.

“Anyone planning on having a drink this long weekend, have a plan B to get home; never let a mate drink and drive.”

ACT Road Policing’s Detective Acting Superintendent Donna Hofmeier, said police regularly respond to incidents where ill-prepared and inexperienced drivers get into trouble in the mountains.

“Drivers are reminded that these are relatively remote areas with extended response times for police and other emergency services,” Det A/Supt Hofmeier said.

Preparation before heading off:

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

  • 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 NSW Live Traffic 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.

  • 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.

  • Before you leave 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.