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Ida-Viru County struggling with slippery roads

A bus skids off the road in Ida-County in January 2023.
A bus skids off the road in Ida-County in January 2023. Source: Dmitri Fedotkin/ERR

Road conditions in Ida-Viru County have been very bad in recent days and on Wednesday one person died and two were seriously injured in traffic accidents. Buses have also skidded into ditches. Authorities say road maintenance has been carried out under the requirements.

While the Transport Administration ended its extraordinary road maintenance regime on the region's roads on Tuesday, they were still slippery on Wednesday morning, "Aktuaalne kaamaera" reported.

A 39-year-old father of four, who worked with the Kohtla-Järve emergency services, died in traffic accident on the Jõhvi-Tartu-Valga road in the village of Tärivere.

Nikita Golovin, the head of the Jõhvi police station's patrol service, said officers on the scene reported slippery conditions and skidding vehicles.

The police said initial investigations suggest a 34-year-old man lost control of the Scania truck he was driving due to the slippery conditions and collided with a Renault car traveling in the opposite direction.

The 39-year-old man driving the car died at the scene. A 10-year-old boy, who was a passenger in the Renault, was taken to the hospital in a serious condition.

A second accident then took place at the scene and a man was taken to hospital with serious injuries after being hit by an out-of-control car.

Both drivers were sober and legally had the right to drive. Criminal proceedings have been concerning the first accident.

Anti Palmi, head of the Eastern Construction and Maintenance Department at the Transport Administration, said road maintenance workers in Ida-Viru County carried out their work following the current requirements. 

"The worker plans their work according to the condition of the roads to ensure that the requirements are met. It is clear that road users have high expectations – summer conditions are expected during winter. But even after the maintenance trucks have done their work, spring has not arrived – the roads will be in winter conditions for practically the whole winter," said Palmi.

Bus drivers also reported problems. Few managed to stay on schedule, and some struggled to stay on the roads.

"Road maintenance is late and not done enough. It is this part of the preparation that is poor. Same today. It is now plus two, it has rained and everything is 'nicely' icy and blocked. Even the roads, which are visibly clear of ice, have clean black ice. The phone is ringing off the hook with calls from drivers all over the region saying it is impossible to drive," said GoBus Ida-Viru region manager Marko Vimb.

The police is asking motorists to be especially careful when driving in bad weather.

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Editor: Aleksander Krjukov, Helen Wright

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