Local snow accumulations today could measure as much as 12 inches in some areas by midnight, according to the National Weather Service, and many communities are encouraging their residents to stay at home.
But if you have to travel, Paul McCurtain of the St. Charles Police Department on Tuesday urged drivers to follow some safety tips for winter driving that AAA put together.
“It seems like a lot of people have heard the warnings and have stayed home today, as traffic was light during this morning’s rush hour,” McCurtain wrote in an email to St. Charles Patch. “Even with the light traffic, we still had four traffic crashes reported since the snow began falling early this morning.”
AAA offers the following winter driving tips for driving in the snow:
Accelerate slowly: Slowly applying the gas is best for regaining traction and avoiding skids. Avoid the temptation of trying to get moving in a hurry.
Slow down, slowly, too: Give yourself extra time to slow down for stoplights on slick or icy roads.
Drive slowly: Driving slowly gives yourself time to maneuver, which is important because everything takes longer on snow-covered roads — accelerating, stopping, and turning — than it takes on dry pavement.
Give yourself more space: The normal following distance on dry pavement is three to four seconds. On slick roads, increase that to eight to 10 seconds to give yourself the longer distance needed to stop safely.
Don’t stop if you can avoid it: If you can slow down enough to keep rolling until a traffic light changes, do it. It takes longer to start moving from a full stop than it does if you are still rolling.
Don’t power up going uphill: Applying extra gas on snow-covered roads just starts your wheels spinning. Try to get a little inertia going before you reach the hill and let that inertia carry you to the top. As you reach the crest of the hill, reduce your speed and proceed downhill as slowly as possible.
Don’t stop going up a hill: If it’s difficult to get moving on an icy road that’s flat, it’s that much worse if you are trying to head uphill from a stop. Avoid stopping on a hill.
Stay home: If you really don’t have to go out, don’t, even if you can drive well in the snow.
Snow Route Reminders
The city of Geneva posts this on its website:
- A parking prohibition shall automatically go into effect on any posted SNOW EMERGENCY ROUTE" following an accumulation of snow and ice of 2 inches or more. Violations are subject to RECEIVING A $35.00 PARKING TICKET, as well as to having their VEHICLES TOWED.
- Parking is prohibited on secondary streets at any time within 12 hours following a snowfall of 3 inches or more. Violators are subject to receiving $30.00 parking tickets AS WELL AS TO HAVING THEIR VEHICLES TOWED. Any street area that has become clear of snow and ice from curb to curb or edge of pavement to edge of pavement for the length of the entire block shall be excluded from this provision.
- Residents and contractors are prohibited from the deposition of any snow or ice from private property on or against a fire hydrant, or on any public sidewalk, public roadway, or loading or unloading areas of a public transportation system. Property owners should notify their snow removal contractors of this requirement and require compliance.
- In order to avoid damage to curbside mailboxes, the City has established an ordinance and specifications that conform to Federal and State Postal Service regulations for the installation of these mailboxes. A copy of the ordinance and the installation specifications are available at the Public Works Department located at 1800 South Street. If your mailbox is damaged and it conforms to the ordinance, City crews will attempt to make temporary repairs to ensure mail delivery until such time permanent repairs can be performed.
- Snow in front of curbside mailboxes is the responsibility of the homeowner to remove and to provide access to the mailbox for mail delivery. It is the City’s responsibility to remove the snow/ice from the City’s streets, providing safe traveling during a winter storm event. It is NOT the City’s responsibility to clear snow from in front of the curbside mailboxes.
- Damage to parkway grass and sod resulting from snow removal operations will be repaired in the spring when pulverized dirt is available. To help City crews to minimize plow damage, those residents that live in cul de sacs, on corners, and curvilinear streets without curbs, or have low back curbs, could place a reflector at or near the curbline.
- Temporary/portable or permanently installed basketball hoop systems should not be placed on the City’s right of way (parkway) or near the curb or edge of pavement. These items protrude into the path of snow removal equipment and may make contact with the snow removal equipment either causing damages to the snow removal equipment or to the basketball hoop system. The City strongly recommends that these systems be removed from the parkway prior to the beginning of the winter season. The City will not be responsible for any damage caused to these systems during snow removal operations.
- It is strongly recommended that when a winter storm has been forecast, all vehicles if possible should not be parked on the streets TO AVOID EMERGENCY PARKING RESTRICTIONS ON ALL CITY STREETS.