18/10/2013 DRIVING ON THE EGNATIA MOTORWAY DURING THE WINTER PERIOD
DRIVING ON THE EGNATIA MOTORWAY DURING THE WINTER PERIOD
The Egnatia Motorway, which crosses Greece from its furthermost west part (Igoumenitsa) to the east Greek borders (Kipoi- Evros), being part of the Trans European Roads Network, is one of the most modern and high standard road axes in Greece. A great part of its vertical axes, Lagathas- Serres- Promahonas and Siatista- Krystallopigi has already been given to traffic. Like all modern international standard motorways, it is accordingly equipped and has security systems, aiming at facilitating and securing the traveler’s drive.
Road Weather Information Systems, RWIS are applicable at various locations on the road. The transmission and processing of data is carried out with the use of telematics at the respective tunnel Traffic Control Centre. The systems for the collection and recording of meteorological data and local weather forecasting like frost, wind etc provide a valuable timely information inflow to the drivers, optimizing at the same time all winter maintenance works.
The Egnatia Motorway is one of the most mountainous motorways in Europe. A section of more than 220 continuous road km runs through an elevation surpassing 500 meters, while the road’s maximum elevation surpasses 1000 m, in the area of Metsovo.
During the winter period, the prevailing conditions are prone to constant change. Moreover, it is quite common for different parts of the road network to encounter different conditions. Weather conditions cannot always be foreseen and there are different conditions affecting the motorway during winter, changing from one year to the other, particularly in mountainous areas.
For all the aforementioned reasons, the users driving on the road should pay particular attention and follow some basic advice concerning the safety of traffic:
- Always drive cautiously and never aggressively.
- Do not use the Emergency Lane as a traffic lane. This should only be used by Emergency vehicles (Traffic Police, Fire Brigade, Ambulances etc).
- Do not stop your vehicle on the road for any reason.
- Never surpass the speed limits, as these are specified by the appropriate signing and the highways code. The speed limit signs do not determine your velocity but the maximum speed limit under normal traffic conditions.
In case of fog:
Fog may be encountered locally on the Egnatia Motorway and other rods, creating highly unsafe road and possibly traffic accident conditions, which may be caused by the limited visibility.
Egnatia Odos AE has been applying a fog scenario, at the sections of the road where telematics traffic management systems are used (mainly tunnels), providing information to drivers with the use of Variable Message Signs and Variable Speed Limit Signs.
At sections of the motorway, where telematics are not applicable (mainly open highway sections) and due to the fact that driving under fog conditions is difficult, driving needs to be adjusted according to the following simple rules:
- Reduce Speed: The first and most important is the driving speed.
- Always use the appropriate lights or special fog lights. Headlights cause reflections to the eye and are dangerous.
- Always keep a fair distance from the vehicle in front and do not drive in platoon formations.
- Avoid overtaking, if there is no absolute need to do so.
- In order to observe the appropriate route on the road, always follow the white road marking.
- If you think that the visibility is extremely limited, it is advisable to stop your vehicle out of the road, at a parking lot or Service Area and not at the shoulder or the Emergency Lane.
In case of rain- snow fall:
Driving under adverse conditions, as in the case of heavy rain and snow fall requires extra care and collectedness.
When driving on a wet road pavement you need to:
- Reduce your speed.
- Observe a safe distance from the vehicle moving in front.
- Avoid any sudden changing of direction, as well as acceleration and deceleration.
- Keep your tires in good condition.
- Be familiar with the use of snow chains in case you need to apply them.
- If it is impossible to drive your vehicle for any reason, get out of it and stand behind the safety barriers, while waiting for help.
Egnatia Motorway has been taking every measure possible, to prevent traffic problems, for vehicles, drivers and passengers.
In case of extreme weather conditions the drivers of heavy (surpassing 3.5 tons ) trucks, who plan to travel on the Egnatia Motorway should contact the Traffic Police of the area in question, to be informed about the possibility of traffic being prohibited for heavy vehicles.
The drivers of smaller vehicles should use snow chains if necessary and pay particular attention to the Traffic Police Warning and the electronic signing on the motorway.
In case you need information or direct help while driving on the Egnatia Motorway, you are requested to call the emergency line 1077.
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