State police caution people to drive with care


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Pendleton - With another major storm approaching, the Indiana State Police  issued a remineder for motorists to limit travel when possible.

The ISP said those who choose to drive during poor or hazardous driving conditions 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.

Indiana code 9-21-5-1 specifies “Speed shall be restricted as necessary to avoid colliding with a person, vehicle, or other conveyance on, near or entering a highway.” 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, the ISP said.

If those 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.

-ISP  crashes involving injury or lane blockage receive priority attention ahead of property damage crashes. It may be an extended period of time before law enforcement arrives. The reason and purpose for moving drivable vehicles off the road is to avoid secondary crashes of other inattentive motorists crashing into your scene or sideswiping you if you’ve only moved to the side of the road.

-Crash scenes with vehicles disabled in the roadway and state police presence may have the state police vehicle facing the wrong way with emergency lights and headlights on. This is to warn approaching motorists of impending danger.

-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, firetrucks and rescue equipment, highway incident-response vehicles, highway work vehicles-including snow plows and vehicle recovery equipment (tow trucks)

The point of not calling police agencies for road information during snow emergencies cannot be overstressed. Calling police departments about road conditions may delay action on critical life emergency 911 calls. Road conditions are likely the same for the area you want to know about as it is looking out your front window.

Citizens calling state police facilities to ask for road conditions will be directed to either call the Indiana Department of Transportation’s Road and Weather automated system at 800-262-7623 or visit the INDOT traffic map at http://indot.carsprogram.org/main.jsf. The 800 phone service is voice activated and updated with timely road conditions across Indiana. The INDOT web link allows users to check on specific locations for current closures and other road information.

For Indiana County Travel Status Reports, visit this link: http://www.in.gov/dhs/traveladvisory.

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