Stay safe on the roads this winter/courtesy of Beckley Police & City of Oak Hill

It’s been starting to feel a little like winter, with a few frosty mornings, so it’s important to make sure you and your vehicle are prepared for any drive.

The Beckley Police Department and City of Oak Hill shared how to stay safe on the roads.

“Warm it up a little, scrape the ice off, make sure your headlights are working, make sure all the lights and then the car is functioning properly before you get out on the roadway,” said Sgt. Jamie Wilhite, who is also regional coordinator of the governor’s highway safety office. “That’s the number one thing.”

Oak Hill is already starting to plan and prepare for the upcoming months in terms of snow plowing, ordering salt and grit, putting plows on the trucks, salt spreaders. And this year they’re going to have two crews so they get a little bit of a break.

“The next couple of months is going to be really busy for us, a lot of long hours,” said Street Department laborer Braden Evans. “We just try to be here for everybody in the town and community and keep everybody safe.”

If the roads are a little bit wet, icy, slick — make sure you allow yourself a few extra minutes to get wherever you’re going and though it’s a fast-paced world, slow down.

“There’s inexperienced drivers, there’s young drivers,” Sgt. Wilhite said. “Try to do your part. And if everybody’s doing a little bit then we may help reduce some crashes and fatalities on the roadways.”

On those bad weather days, Braden suggests staying off the roads, if possible. He says it makes it a whole lot easier for the street crews.

“Paying more attention, making sure that if you needed studded tires, things like that — get ’em on before the season gets here,” said the laborer.

Between the cold weather and influx of Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year’s traffic, it can be tough. But there are ways to stay safer.

“We’ve got some major roadways running through this area — with 16, 19, Route 3, Arbor Road, and all the way through Summersville,” said Sgt. Wilhite. “They’ll be additional officers out on the roadway for not only the public safety, but for enforcement as well. So slow down, put your seatbelt on and avoid any type of distraction.”

“And put the phone down,” Evans said.

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