The Red Oak Public Works and Police departments are working closely together to ensure roadways are safe to travel during inclement weather conditions.

Police Chief Craig Rudolph said one of the most important roles the department will play is notifying the public of weather changes.

“Our part is notification because we are out patrolling 24 hours a day, seven days a week and we see the weather change as it happens,” Rudolph said. “Therefore, if we come across a slick or icy intersection, we can notify the street department to sand that intersection.

“It is our responsibility to make sure we notify the appropriate departments to sand icy roadways or block off roadways that are impassable due to rising water,” he said.

Public Works director David Hall agreeing.

“We are looking at trying to pre-sand some areas that may ice up if bad weather occurs,” Hall said.

Unaware of any fatalities in the past years due to hazardous weather conditions, Rudolph and Hall said both departments would still work very hard in assuring residents are informed of changes in weather conditions.

“We’re working together with the police department and the fire department so that we have good communication lines open,” Hall said, noting that a dispatcher would be able to contact his department if necessary.

In spite of the working relationship between all departments, Rudolph said it is still the responsibility of residents to be prudent in their decision to operate a motor vehicle during severe weather conditions.

There are several tips drivers can use to help make winter driving safer, according to the Web site. Those tips include:

• Check the weather conditions on radio or television, and stay tuned to local radio stations for the latest on weather and road conditions.

• Understand the dangers of snow and ice and, because elevated roadways freeze over first, be extra careful on bridges and overpasses.

• Be prepared for the worst and never drive with a fuel gauge near empty.

• Maintain a safe driving distance and increase the distance from the vehicle ahead according to the conditions of the pavement.

• Reduce speed to match conditions because there is no such thing as a safe speed range at which to drive on snow or ice.

• Get the feel of the road. Start out very slowly and test the brakes gently after the car is in motion to determine how much traction is available.

• Keep windows clear by removing snow and ice before driving.

• Pack the following items: extra layers of warm clothing, gloves, head covering, blankets or sleeping bags, nonperishable food and water, a flashlight and a set of new batteries, cellular telephone or CB radio, matches and candles, first aid kit, an ice scraper, jumper cables and tire chains, coins; and warning devices such as flares or battery-powered flashers.

• Use common sense and allow more time for travel and never drive when tired or sleepy.

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