Transport Administration critical of de-icing on Tallinn-Tartu highway

Snowy road.
Snowy road. Source: Maarja Värv/ERR

The Tallinn-Tartu highway saw four crashes in a span of just a few hours on Sunday in which a young woman was killed. The Transport Administration is not satisfied with de-icing on the section.

Anti Palmi, head of the Estonian Transport Administration's infrastructure and maintenance department, said that de-icing efforts have not been enough where the accidents happened. Palmi said that while contractors try to meet requirements, road and changeable weather conditions mean this cannot always meet commuters' expectations.

"We were not happy with the quality of the service on the Tallinn-Tartu highway in Järva County this Sunday. The company in charge of maintenance could have made more of an effort," Palmi said, adding that the agency is still analyzing weather conditions and the contractor's movements in the area.

"It is too soon to say whether the contractor violated its contract, but should it turn out that it did, we will consider sanctions."

Palmi said that road conditions are nevertheless highly changeable in winter time. Roads that were not slippery in the morning could easily be later in the day.

"This was also the case on that road section. The road was not slippery when a patrol went down it at 8.30 a.m."

Anti Palmi said that even properly maintained roads cannot completely rule out slippery conditions. Drivers need to monitor road conditions and take care. Palmi urges commuters to report slippery road conditions by calling the number 1247.

"Information from drivers is definitely our number one indicator. Slipper conditions should be reported, which information will reach maintenance services providers. People should also closely monitor conditions. Some sections can be very slippery. The site of the accident can have strong side winds, ground wind blizzards, which make the road surface more slippery still."


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Editor: Mirjam Mäekivi, Marcus Turovski

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