Indiana State Police: If possible, don’t travel

File Photo
File Photo

INDIANA – Indiana’s next blast of winter weather is upon us.

Warnings about hazardous driving conditions will be issued by city, county and state law enforcement as well as by local and national media.

If travel is not necessary, then stay home.

Most calls for service received by the Indiana State Police and other police agencies during winter storms are for crashes and motorists that slide off state roads and interstates. It is important to remember that snow and ice covered roads do not cause crashes. The crashes are caused by unsafe driving on the snow and ice covered roadway.

If you choose to drive during poor or hazardous driving conditions you must:

1. Leave sooner and expect your travel time to be twice as long as normal
2. Drive slower
3. Increase the following distance between you and the vehicle in front of you by at least five times greater than normal
4. Approach intersections with great care; other drivers not paying attention will slide through red lights
5. Signal all lane changes and turning movements

The posted speed limit may be more than twice as fast as the reduced speed drivers should travel to reduce the possibility of a collision or loss of control that puts a vehicle into a retaining wall, ditch or another motorist.

Motorists losing control of their vehicle or who are involved in a crash resulting in a police report should expect to be cited for this offense, which carries a maximum fine of $500.

If you are involved in a crash, are uninjured and all vehicles are drivable, involved drivers should move to a safe place completely off the road, be it the next exit or to the parking lot of a business to await law enforcement response for a police report.

Indiana’s Move Over Law states motorists MUST change lanes away from the emergency or utility vehicle if they can do it SAFELY.

If not possible to move away from the emergency vehicle, motorists must SLOW DOWN and proceed with caution.

Vehicles included in the Move Over law are:
• Police vehicles
• Ambulances
• Fire trucks and rescue equipment
• Highway incident-response vehicles
• Highway work vehicles-including snow plows
• Vehicle recovery equipment (tow trucks)

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