It’s September in Utah, which means cold weather is not far away; we have already had our first dusting of snow on the mountains! So this is the time to begin preparing for those cold winter months ahead. Cold weather brings different challenges for the Roy Police Department as well, so the following is some advice on how to help the police department have a smoother transition into the challenges of winter weather.
The first thing you should do to prepare for winter is to check the condition of the tires on your vehicle. Make sure you have enough tread left that you not only have the available traction to go in the snow, but also to be able to stop. Many tires will allow you to go through the snow; the problem comes when you have to suddenly stop! Having adequate tread on your tires allows them to dig into snow and ice to help slow your vehicle. Good tires help the police department by making sure vehicles are not stopped while a driver attempts to get up even small incline, backing up traffic behind his or her car. We are all aware in Roy that one of our primary problems is traffic congestion. One vehicle that gets stuck or slides to the side of the road can end up slowing traffic down for hundreds of motorists. (That’s not even taking into consideration the costs of traffic accidents attributed to poor tires that don’t have the ability to stop well).
Another issue not always thought of is to make sure your outside water is turned off, and that the faucets and valves have been properly prepared for winter. Every winter we have the problem of broken pipes that end up spraying or leaking water onto the roadway, making large ice patches on roads and sidewalks. Accidents, both with vehicles or from people slipping on ice as they walk, are common. Please make certain you get out and get your sidewalks shoveled to make them safer for those who walk on them! Walkways that are not shoveled are also an indicator that burglars use to help determine those houses where people may not be home, making that home more likely to be a target for thieves.
Speaking of thieves, winter is stolen-vehicle-season. It is quite common for people who have a distance to travel, with no transportation, to look for a vehicle they can steal and use to make their trip more comfortable in the cold. Always take your keys out of your vehicle when you get out of it! Another opportunity thieves are presented with is when citizens go out and start their vehicles to warm them up, and then go back inside to wait. Many mornings through the winter, our officers are called to respond to situations created because vehicles have been stolen while the owner was having the motor warmed up. I understand a warm vehicle is much nicer to drive on a cold morning, but consider an engine block heater, instead of the open invitation to thieves when you leave your car running while you go inside a warm building to wait.
Cooler weather is the season to prepare for these and other cold weather concerns. A little preparation now can save us all problems later when the really cold weather hits.