So far this winter, we have had a few significant snowfall events that have required the snowplows to come out, but what many drivers do not realize is how the roads can become slippery from just a dusting of snow. Many times during the winter driving season, there will not be enough snow on the roadway for plowing, but the roadway surface is still slippery and the road crews will come out just to add deicing chemicals to the road surfaces.
Officer Jason Haider responded to a single vehicle crash one morning last week in which an SUV slid off the slippery roadway, struck a tree and landed in about three feet of water in a small stream. Fortunately, the driver did not suffer any significant injuries and was able to safely exit the vehicle through the rear door. The roadway surface at the time of this crash was slippery due to a very light coating of snow.
Ultimately, improving winter driving safety can really be condensed into a few basic rules for drivers to follow. The first rule is to allow adequate time for your trip based upon the road conditions. By giving yourself enough time, you will not feel rushed or stressed when the road conditions slow traffic.
The second winter driving rule is to stay alert for changing roadway conditions and slow down. Roadway conditions after a snowfall can range from dry to wet to ice covered in a matter of just a few feet and can catch a driver unprepared. The third rule is to allow for increased stopping distances. Even with ABS braking systems, your vehicle will need more distance to come to a stop on snow packed or icy roadways. By focusing on these three simple driving rules and driving defensively, we can all improve our winter driving skills.
SEARCH WARRANT UNCOVERS ILLICIT DRUGS
Last week Detective Kelli Coughlin and Detective Michelle Roberts executed a search warrant at a residence as part of an investigation of a felony assault and criminal damage to property case.
When the detectives and assisting officers searched the residence, they not only found evidence of the crimes they were investigating, but also a quantity of marijuana and associated drug paraphernalia. The drug items were turned over to the Dakota Drug Task Force for follow up investigation.
ROUTINE TRAFFIC STOP REVEALS NARCOTICS
There is a saying that no traffic stop is ever really “routine” because you are never sure what you may encounter when you initiate a traffic stop on a vehicle for a traffic violation. Officer Jason Jensen stopped a vehicle for a traffic violation this week and discovered that the driver did not have a valid driver’s license.
Since the driver could not drive the vehicle from the location, Officer Jensen had to have the vehicle towed and impounded. Prior to having the vehicle towed, Officer Jensen conducted an inventory search of the vehicle and located a felony amount of narcotics. The driver is now facing felony narcotics charges in addition to the traffic violation charges.
WEEKLY LPD SNAPSHOT
Sampling of LPD activity for the week of Jan. 1 to Jan. 8, 2013
Traffic crashes: 12 Alarms: 25 Animal Calls: 23 Medical Emergency Calls: 35 Thefts: 9 Traffic Stops: 121.