Be Prepared for Winter Driving
“If you’re not prepared, don’t drive,” cautions Traffic Safety Officer Rod Morse about driving on snowy and icy roads. When drivers don’t take the proper precautions, they create hazardous conditions for other drivers and pedestrians.
The Tigard Police Department may issue tickets for abandoned vehicles during snow events. In prior years, drivers have left their cars blocking roads and freeways, creating unsafe road conditions for other travelers. These obstructions also make it difficult for the city’s snowplows to clear some streets.
To prepare for driving in the snow and ice, the Tigard Police Traffic Safety Unit recommends the following tips:
- Clear windshields and the rest of your vehicle before you drive anywhere, so snow and ice do not fly off your car onto other vehicles, creating hazards.
- Use chains, snow socks or snow tires.
- Take public transportation or ride with someone whose car is equipped for the snow.
- Travel at the speed recommended for chains. If you don’t, the chains may break.
- Go slow and steady. Budget enough time to get to your destination at a safe speed. Officers will cite drivers for going faster than is safe for road conditions even if you are driving under the speed limit.
- Increase your following distance behind other vehicles to allow more room to react.
- Slow down well before you need to stop to avoid abruptly braking and potentially skidding.
- Be careful about reduced visibility due to heavy rain, snow or darkness during commute hours. Many pedestrians aren’t visible because they are wearing dark clothing.
- Bring an emergency kit with warm clothes, food and water in case you get stuck. Fill up your gas tank before a snowstorm.
Think you have a frozen pipe?
Here’s how to tell if you do:
Turn on faucets located throughout your home; if some of them work and others do not, it is likely that you have a frozen pipe. If there is no water to your home, it is likely that the issue may be at the street and you should notify your water provider.
Turning off water at the meter
Before thawing or repairing plumbing lines, make sure the water is turned off at the meter. You may have a valve in your basement or garage. If not, the city’s water meter and shut off valve are both located inside the meter box near the road. For detailed instructions to shut off your water at the meter box, including a video, visit www.tigard-or.gov/watermeter.
Thawing frozen pipes
To thaw plumbing lines safely, use a hair dryer on a low setting. NEVER thaw a frozen pipe with an open flame. Remember to leave a little water on once the pipe has thawed so that it doesn’t refreeze.
Repairing broken water pipe(s)
If your burst pipe is located in or around your home, then it is your responsibility to repair the pipe. If the break is at the street, contact your water provider to repair it.
Public Works Crews are Standing By!