Police urge caution as blizzards forecast

Tayside Police is asking the public – and drivers in particular – to be vigilant as weather conditions are forecast to deteriorate as darkness falls leading to possible disruption.

The Met Office has released an Amber – Be Prepared – Warning for snow for the Tayside area, as well as other parts of Scotland, valid from 5 p.m. today until 9 a.m. tomorrow.

Snow has already been falling in parts of Tayside region during the course of the day and the Amber Warning is for further snow showers, which will be frequent and heavy at times, with temporary blizzard conditions due to strong westerly gales.

Amounts of snow will vary, but accumulations of 10 to 20cm are expected in some areas, especially on routes above 100 metres.

Emergency Services, the local authorities, along with SEPA and other partner agencies are working closely together as they continue to monitor the situation and ensure an effective response to any challenges.

With the combination of snowfall, strong winds, and sub zero temperatures Tayside Police appeals to anyone who is driving during the course of today and overnight to be prepared for what could be difficult driving conditions and to take the utmost caution.

Before setting off on any journey in wintry conditions, however long or short, drivers should ensure that windscreens and windows are clear of ice and snow, as well as roofs, bonnets and boots.

Allow plenty of time for your journey, reduce your speed and drive according to the conditions. This includes keeping a safe distance from the vehicle in front and using dipped headlights where appropriate.

Tayside Police offers drivers the following information and advice in mind -

Increase the gap between your vehicle and the one in front.

On slippery roads it can take up to 10 times longer to stop.

Reduce your speed and allow more time to slow down. Stop by decelerating earlier, rather than rely on braking alone.

Use dipped headlights so you can see and be seen.

If visibility is extremely poor (less than 100 metres visibility) then use fog lights, but switch them off whenever conditions improve or they will cause undue dazzle, which is an offence.

People are also advised to make use of traffic information websites such as www.trafficscotland.org

There are also regular updates on AA Roadwatch.

Further Information on the kind of disruption that might be experienced is available at http://www.metoffice.gov.uk/guide/weather/severe-weather-advice.

The full Alerts, with maps of the area affected, can be viewed on hazard manager or on website http://www.metoffice.gov.uk/public/weather/warnings/.

People should also be aware of local television and radio bulletins for updates on the latest weather and travel information. Details on any council and trunk road closures can be found at http://trafficscotland.org.

Local authority websites carry further useful information in relation to various services and people should also log on to the Safer Scotland Ready For Winter? website on www.readyscotland.org for more valuable information.