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Police urge drivers to be cautious of black ice as temperatures drop

Suffolk Road in Ipswich covered in snow.  Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWN

Suffolk Road in Ipswich covered in snow. Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWN

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Suffolk police is urging drivers to take care and be cautious of black ice as temperatures drop further.

Cars in the snow. Picture: Gareth Fuller/PA WireCars in the snow. Picture: Gareth Fuller/PA Wire

Driving conditions are expected to worsen as standing water freezes and motorists are still being advised to only make essential journeys.

While the number of collisions reported to the force remains relatively low – since 6am there have been around 30 non-injury or minor injury road traffic accidents – the road conditions are making travel difficult with some journeys near to impossible.

Officers are also urging drivers of HGVs to stick to the left hand lanes on dual carriageways due to the hazardous weather conditions.

Police have been liaising with partners including Suffolk County Council and Suffolk Highways throughout the day and will continue to do moving into the evening.

Residential side roads in Ipswich were covered in a blanket of snow making for treacherous driving conditions.    Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWNResidential side roads in Ipswich were covered in a blanket of snow making for treacherous driving conditions. Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWN

MORE: Bitterly cold winds, plunging temperatures and heavy snow to hit Suffolk and north Essex later this week

Chief Inspector Matt Rose said: “We’ve had officers out across the county working to clear blocked roads and our roads policing units have been helping motorists who have been involved in road traffic collisions.

“As we move into the evening, drivers need to be cautious of black ice. While the roads may look clearer there will be hidden dangers as any standing water freezes.

“Our advice remains the same – drive to the conditions and only travel if your journey is absolutely necessary.

“Drivers of heavy goods vehicles should avoid using the fast lanes on dual carriageways –our aim is for everyone to get where they are travelling to safely.

“Please follow our twitter (@suffolkpolice) and our facebook page (/suffolkpolice) for updates of any road traffic collisions and areas to avoid.

“I would also advise to listen to local radio and tune into weather reports to get an idea of the state of the roads.

“Our priority is those who are already stuck or have been involved in an RTC. Please bear with us, we have to take the same precautions you do and it may take as slightly longer to get to you.

“My final appeal is for you to look after each other. If you have elderly or vulnerable relatives or neighbours, make sure they are ok and have everything they need.”

Suffolk Police says it is receiving a high number of calls and we would like to ask the public to report any non-urgent matters online at www.suffolk.police.uk

However, in an emergency please call 999.

The force has issued the following advice for preparing for journeys in adverse conditions:

• Always ensure all windows are fully cleared of snow, frost and condensation before setting off on a journey - it is illegal to drive with obscured vision.

• Ensure that dirt, salt and snow is cleared away from light fixtures.

• Also clear snow from the top of the car as this can fall down and obscure your windscreen while you are driving.

• Keep windscreen washer fluid topped up as windscreens quickly become dirty from traffic spray and salt from the roads.

• If you get stuck in the snow stay with your car, but in an emergency if you do need to leave it, park it out of the main traffic route, where it won’t cause an obstruction when conditions ease. Leave a contact number on the inside of the windscreen and return to your car at the first opportunity you have.

• Allow extra time for your journeys

• Reduce speed gradually – sharp braking in freezing conditions can result in a skid

• Increase distance between you and the vehicle in front

• Make sure you have sufficient fuel

• Make sure you have plenty of layers and blankets

• Take a fully charged mobile phone with you

· Take provisions with you for long periods of time in your car

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