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Cops urge caution in bad weather

December 05, 2002|by MARLO BARNHART

marlob@herald-mail.com

With forecasters saying Washington County could receive up to 8 inches of snow from a storm that was to move into the area late Wednesday, area road crews were preparing for the worst.

"We have part of our work force on standby and the rest expected in between 10 p.m. and midnight," Gary Shank, assistant resident engineer with the Maryland State Highway Administration in Hagerstown, said just after 8 p.m. Wednesday.

Washington County school officials would keep a close eye on conditions early today.

Maryland State Police joined with other police and emergency agencies in cautioning drivers to be especially careful on slick or snow-covered highways.

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If at all possible, police recommend not going out. But for those who must travel, police suggest drivers:

- Be cautious, watch out for snowplows and keep out of their way.

- Don't park on Snow Emergency Routes, which are clearly marked with year-round signs.

- Equip vehicles with snow tires or approved radials for winter driving.

- Make sure the vehicle has plenty of windshield washer fluid and wipers in good condition.

- Check all belts, hoses and other fluids.

- Keep a blanket and something to eat and drink in the vehicle.

- Carry a snow shovel and road abrasives such as sand, salt or kitty litter in the car.

When driving in snowy conditions:

- Make sure windshields, rear and side windows, headlights and taillights are free of snow and ice.

- Increase driving distance between your vehicle and the vehicle in front of you so you have plenty of room to stop safely.

- Decrease speed whenever possible.

- Pumped regular brakes to keep them from locking up. Anti-lock brakes need to be held while driver is steering out of a situation.

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