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Don't abandon cars or you could end up paying, police warn
DRIVERS who abandon their cars due to the snow face paying to get them back, police have warned.
Officials have urged motorists to avoid dumping their vehicles and in fact not to drive at all unless crucial.
Anyone thinking of making a journey by road is told to carefully check details of the routes and to stick to major roads which are likely to be gritted.
In a statement, Thames Valley Police said: “ Drivers are urged not to abandon their vehicles, especially where they may obstruct emergency service vehicles and major roads or motorways.
"If they do, the vehicles may have to be removed and it will be the driver’s responsibility to pay for the cost of recovering them.
“To find out which roads are being treated, please refer to your local authority’s website.
"However, drivers are urged to drive with care, even on those roads that have been treated.”
It also had the following advice:
- Prepare yourself for the journey: check road conditions, plan your journey before setting out and leave extra time for the journey if travel conditions are poor. Use major roads where possible.
- Pack warm clothes and blankets, boots, food, drinks, a fully-charged mobile phone, a torch, jump leads, tow rope, first aid kit, warning triangle, de-icer and a shovel. Tell someone where you are going and when you expect to arrive.
- Prepare your vehicle for your journey – make sure your vehicle is well maintained, that all lights are clean and bulbs are working, that it is clear of snow and ice (particularly the windscreen) and that your tyres are at the correct pressure and depth tread. Use antifreeze and screen wash and ensure the battery is reliable.
- Drive safely, even where roads have been treated. Even if there is no snow, driving conditions are expected to be difficult, with black ice likely.
- ·Keep your distance from the vehicle in front, avoid hard braking or acceleration and steer gently. Avoid wheel spins by using low revs and the highest gear possible. If you skid, ease off the accelerator, and try and avoid braking hard.
- If you get stuck in the snow, an old rug or mat under a slipping wheel should provide traction to help get you out.
- Up-to-date information on road conditions on England's motorways and trunk roads is available on the Highways Agency website or by calling 0300 123 5000. For information on weather conditions, visit the Met Office website or listen to local radio.
- Residents are being reminded to check on elderly or vulnerable neighbours who may be in need of assistance, whether it’s by clearing a safe pathway or helping to keep them warm.
- There is no law stopping you from clearing snow and ice from the pavement outside your home, as long as you clear it carefully. Use salt or sand, rather than water, which is likely to refreeze and turn to black ice. Don’t use salt from salting bins- this will be needed to keep the roads clear. When you’re shovelling snow, take care to put it where it won’t block people’s paths or drains. For more guidance on clearing paths yourself, consult the Directgov website.