With a major winter storm bearing down on the region, Rhode Island State Police Colonel Ann C. Assumpico, Superintendent of State Police and Director of Public Safety, is encouraging motorists to use extreme caution – and avoid driving if possible – during tomorrow’s storm to help keep everyone safe.
“This storm is expected to bring a large amount of snow very quickly, which will likely create treacherous driving conditions,” Colonel Assumpico said. “We encourage people to stay off the roads if possible until the storm passes. However, if you are travelling, use extreme caution, especially around crews working to clear the roadways.”
Colonel Assumpico offered the following safety tips:
• Drive only if absolutely necessary. Stay home or use public transportation if available. If you must drive, let someone know where you’re going. Try to stay on main roads, which are likely to be cleared before back roads and side streets.
• Before driving, making sure snow is removed from windows, roof, hood, trunk, and license plate. State law requires motorists to clear snow from their vehicles or face fines of $85. Beware of snow and ice blowing off other vehicles, creating sudden hazards.
• Remember to turn on your headlights. State law requires that headlights be used, even during the day, when it’s snowing or raining. Make sure to brush snow off from headlights and taillights before driving.
• Use reduced speeds and allow extra space between you and the car in front of you. Allow extra time and distance for braking, especially at traffic lights and intersections. Beware of black ice, as well as visible snow and ice.
• If you encounter a problem while driving, pull off the highway or move as close to the side of the roadway as possible. If it is an emergency or you are involved in an accident, call 911.
The Rhode Island State Police will be working with the Governor’s Office, the state Emergency Management Agency, Department of Transportation and other agencies throughout the storm to keep motorists safe.
“If you must drive during the storm, remember to slow down and pull over for emergency vehicles,” Colonel Assumpico said. “In addition, please use extra care while driving near snow plows and sanding trucks. Give them the space they need to get the roads clear for all of us.”