Winter weather advice for motorists
Motorists across Staffordshire are urged to be prepared as the winter weather draws in.
Snow has fallen across several parts of the UK and reached parts of North Staffordshire this morning.
Inspector Ian Hancock, from Staffordshire Police’s Road Policing Team, said: "Motorists should check weather forecasts before they set off and listen to local and national radio for travel information.
"They should carry a screen scraper and de-icer and clear mirrors and windows both inside and out before departing.
We’d remind people never to leave their vehicle unattended on the drive or roadside while defrosting it."
The following advice is also recommended in the event of snowfall:
- prepare your vehicle for the journey. Take extra warm clothes, food and a flask of hot drink. Wellington boots, a torch and a spade could also prove useful. Ensure that all your vehicle lights are working before leaving
- adjust your driving to the conditions. Drive slowly and leave extra room to stop
- maintain a safe distance behind all other vehicles especially snow ploughs/service vehicles. Do not attempt unnecessary overtakes. Use dipped headlights.
- dazzle from winter sun can be dangerous. Keep a pair of sunglasses handy.
- be aware of other road users, especially pedestrians, cyclists and those children that may be playing in and with the snow.
Insp Hancock added: "Staffordshire Police, like all other emergency services, deal with a high number of extra calls during inclement weather conditions and have to prioritise incidents.
Our vehicles are affected by the weather conditions too, which, along with the volume of calls, may affect response times.
"People are asked to only dial 999 in an emergency and to be patient when the bad weather hits."
Car defrosting warning - beware of thieves
Police are reminding people not to leave their cars unattended on the drive while defrosting them following the cold weather across Staffordshire this morning.
Seasonally, between October and March there is an upsurge in theft of motor vehicles from driveways.
Simple crime prevention measures to protect vehicles include:
- ensure your vehicle is securely locked, including passenger doors and sun roof, and that alarms or immobilisers are switched on
- remove all belongings from the vehicle – even a bag of rubbish could convince a thief there is something worth stealing
- take your sat nav with you remembering to remove the cradle and wipe any sucker marks off the dashboard or windscreen. Leaving the cradle in place tells the crooks that the sat nav might be in the glove box or boot
- park in a garage if you have one or park under street lights if possible
- remove work equipment from your vehicle
- keep your car keys in a safe place so if someone breaks into your home they cannot steal your vehicle as well.