Winter caught drivers unprepared

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The wet and heavy snow that fell on lowland areas of southern and western Norway late last week heralded the end of autumn and the beginning of winter. As usual many drivers were unprepared.

By Friday snowplows had made roads passable again in Southern Norway, like here near Risør. PHOTO: Sven Goll

Garages suddenly got very busy, helping motorists to change from summer to winter tires. For many, it was too late, as the wintry conditions along the southern coast caught most by surprise.

Trucks without snow-chains slid off the main road between Oslo and Kristiansand, blocking traffic for more than three hours on Thursday evening. Similar queues arose in several places in western Norway and the most southern counties of the Norway.

“We towed some 200 cars in Agder and Telemark counties Thurday evening,” Tarjei Setrom Christiansen, dispatcher for Viking towing and roadside assistance, told newspaper Aftenposten over the weekend. He said that usually Viking is called out 300-400 times throughout the whole country during a 24-hour period.

“Isn’t it like this every year?” he says, refering to the annual spate of accidents and spin-outs as the first snows fall.

One unfortunate driver was pushed off a bridge by a snowplow near Voss in Hordaland County Friday afternoon. He spent 45 minutes in the river until he was rescued from his car and taken to hospital where he was in stable condition and recovering.

Views and News from Norway/Sven Goll
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