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PRESS RELEASES

DPS Urges Caution to Those Planning to Travel in the High Country this Week

Motorists should not stop along the highway to play in the snow this week

Tuesday, December 28, 2010 -

The Arizona Department of Public Safety (DPS) has been advised that northern Arizona, above 7,000 feet, could receive upwards of 18 to 20 inches of snow accumulation between Wednesday and Friday of this week. In addition, overnight and morning low temperatures are expected to cause a hard freeze making highways extremely slippery. If you must travel to the Flagstaff area beginning tomorrow, be patient as traffic will be moving slower. Vehicles equipped with snow tires or vehicles with all-wheel or four wheel drive typically perform the best in these types of highway conditions. The DPS Highway Patrol will be shifting resources to make as many patrolmen available as possible to respond to emergency calls during this period.

  • To check on the latest winter road conditions, call 5-1-1 or view this information on the Web at www. AZ511.gov. Dial 9-1-1 only for emergency situations.
  • Leave at least 500 feet of distance between your vehicle and a snowplow or salt truck.
  • Make sure your gas tank is full and you have some food, warm blankets and clothing in the vehicle in case of emergency. If you have a cell phone, make sure it’s fully charged, working, and can be re-charged in your vehicle.
  • Tell others about your travel route and itinerary, so that if you don't arrive at your destination, they can contact law enforcement officers and inform them where to look.
  • Keep others informed if you're going to be late or encounter problems so they won’t worry needlessly.
  • It's safer to travel with passengers and convoy with other vehicles than it is to drive alone.
  • Remember, the speed limit is based on clear roads and dry pavement, don't drive too fast for conditions. Four-wheel drive doesn't permit you to drive faster on snow packed or icy roads
  • Watch for slippery spots on bridges and overpasses.
  • Take note of mileposts, exit numbers or crossroads in case you slide off the road or are involved in a crash so that law enforcement officers and tow truck operators can find you.
  • If the storm makes driving too hazardous or if your car breaks down, stay in the vehicle. Run your engine and heater for short intervals to stay warm. Be sure to crack the window to avoid carbon monoxide build-up.
  • Add a winter solution/ de-icer windshield washer fluid as summer solution will freeze solid. Wiper condition should be checked as well. Check your vehicle’s tire tread.