The first major snow of the season around Oslo and most of Southern Norway had set off nearly 60 traffic accidents by mid-morning on Monday, also after police, road authorities and state meteorologists had urged commuters to avoid driving. Two motorists who skidded off the E18 highway in Asker lost their drivers’ licenses, because they drove with summer, not winter, tires.
“We’ve had a lot of reports about cars on the roads that were still equipped with summer tires,” Trond Egil Groth, operations leader for Norway’s Sør-Øst Police District, told state broadcater NRK. “That’s something we absolutely don’t want people doing right now.”
The first major snowfall predictably results in accidents, even when road crews are quick with snow-removal operations. Several large trucks blocked roads, including an exit ramp off the E18 at Holmestrand, while there were also disruptions on Trondheimsveien in Oslo and as far south as Kristiansand.
As much as 15 centimeters of snow was expected by Monday evening, when the wintry weather system moving over Southern Norway was due to ease. Snow depth varied greatly in line with elevation, but up to five centimeters were predicted along the coast and at low elevations in southeastern portions of the country, in the Viken region and Sørlandet.