FROM VIRGINIA STATE POLICE:

It appears much of Virginia will be jump starting 2022 with a serious winter weather situation. The Virginia State Police is encouraging Virginians to plan ahead and avoid having to travel during inclement conditions. The National Weather Service is calling for accumulations of snow, as well as combinations of rain and sleet in the early morning hours of Monday, Jan. 3. If you can delay your travel overnight and early Monday, please do until VDOT has an opportunity to treat/clear roadways for safe travel.

The Virginia State Police is already preparing for the winter weather and will have all available troopers on patrol in order to respond as quickly as possible to traffic crashes, emergencies and disabled motorists.

If you must travel during the storm:

- Know Before You Go! Before heading out, check Virginia road conditions at www.511virginia.org or download the VDOT 511 app.

- Clear ALL snow and ice from the roof, trunk, hood and windows of your vehicle - car, SUV, minivan, pickup truck, commercial vehicle - before you travel.

- Use your headlights - in rain AND snow. Virginia law requires headlights on when your wipers are active.

- Drive for conditions - slow your speed and increase your traveling distance between the vehicle ahead of you.

- Always buckle up.

- Avoid distractions - put down the phone.

- Do not call 911 or #77 for road conditions. Please leave these emergency lines open for emergencies only.

- Contact Cynthia Cather Burton at cburton@winchesterstar.com

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