GLENWOOD SPRINGS, Colorado - The arrival of snow brings beauty to our valley, but also calls for extra caution when driving and for proper snow shoveling and plowing.
Glenwood Springs Police Chief Terry Wilson and Streets Superintendent Rick Turner have issued the following tips for residents and businesses during the snow season, along with wishing everyone a happy New Year.
A significant percentage of winter accidents are caused simply by drivers following too closely to allow for a safe stop or turn to occur on icy roads. Even at low speeds, vehicles just won't have the traction that can be expected on dry roads.
Many accidents occurring on city streets could have been avoided by drivers leaving 10 or 20 additional feet of room from the car in front of them.
"People tend to focus on their destination, not the need for safety in getting there," said Wilson. "A little more patience may save you thousands in vehicle repairs, and prevent your receiving a ticket."
Icy conditions also impact pedestrians, as people don't move as quickly when crossing streets packed with slush, snow and ice. Drivers need to exercise caution and give safe passage to those who brave the elements on foot.
"Slow your vehicle sooner and approach the stoplight or stop sign more gradually," Wilson said. "Yellow lights mean prepare to stop, not hurry through to try to make the light."
Pedestrians should make sure oncoming vehicles coming to a stop at red lights or stop signs are going to make a safe stop before setting foot off the curb.
City ordinances require property owners or tenants to remove snow from sidewalks within 24 hours after a snowstorm. Sidewalks must be clear and free of obstructions such as snow and ice.
Snow removed from driveways and parking areas at business and multi-family developments must be stored on the property. Snow should not be pushed onto city streets or parking lanes. Doing so may result in fines and snow removal fees being charged to the property owner.
There are limited numbers of plows and plow drivers doing the best they can to make streets safe, and it can be a challenge with narrow roadways and vehicles parked curbside.
"Park in your driveway or garage to help the plow drivers do their work as safely and efficiently as possible," said Turner.
"We all should enjoy the winter season and the snowy conditions we are experiencing," Wilson added. "Use a little patience and safety awareness to help all of us get through to spring."