Law Enforcement Urge Drivers to Stay Off the Roads

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After one teen lost her life on the highway in this winter storm, local law enforcement officials are urging motorists to stay off the roads.

They say drivers need to be prepared and keep up-to-date on the latest weather and road conditions as a powerful winter storm moves into the Cornhusker State.

If you must head out, Lancaster County Sheriff Terry Wagner says to use common sense when navigating the roads.

He says to slow down and increase following distance.

Blowing and drifting snow reduce visibility and bitterly cold wind chills can be life threatening. If you do end up in the ditch, Wagner says to stay put until an deputy can get to you.

Wagner says to be sure to include a winter weather survival kit in your vehicle as your travel. The following are some basic items to keep in your car in case you become stranded in wintry weather:

  • Emergency first aid kit

  • Ice scraper, shovel, small bag of sand

  • Flashlight (extra batteries), portable battery operated radio

  • Non-perishable snacks or dehydrated foods

  • Blankets or sleeping bag (extra set dry clothing)

  • Fully charged cell phone

  • Jumper cables

  • Empty coffee can or plastic container
  • Travelers can check on road closures and conditions by utilizing 511, Nebraska’s Advanced Traveler Information System at, the 511 Mobile Traveler Site at 511 Mobile Traveler Site (the site also works on PC’s), or by dialing 511 (800-906-9069) from any land line or cellular phone for information.

    “All signs point to this storm having the potential to make travel extremely dangerous,” said Colonel David Sankey, Superintendent of the Nebraska State Patrol. “We encourage motorists to closely monitor weather and road conditions and be prepared to change travel plans as necessary.”

    The Nebraska State Patrol issues the following reminders for motorists traveling in extreme winter weather conditions:

  • Travel only if absolutely necessary. Always wear your seat belt and never drive faster than conditions allow.

  • Use well-traveled routes and give yourself plenty of time to reach your destination.

  • Let others know where you are going, when you will arrive, and what route you are taking.

  • If you do become stranded while traveling, stay with your car until help arrives. Wind chill and freezing temperatures can be life threatening.

  • If your vehicle does become stuck, run your motor sparingly and keep a window cracked to prevent the buildup of carbon monoxide.

  • Carry a red flag or bandana in your car and attach to the outside to signal you are in trouble.
  • Motorists in need of emergency roadside assistance can call the Nebraska State Patrol Highway Helpline when safe to do so by dialing *55 from any cell phone or 1-800-525-5555 from any land line.