DRIVERS are being urged to take care and allow extra time for their journeys as the region wakes up to its first real snowfall of the winter.
Police are warning motorists to be aware of icy patches and snow, particularly on minor and untreated roads.
Drivers should moderate their speed, maintain a safe distance from the vehicle in front and be alert for pedestrians walking on the road.
Chief Inspector John Heckles, of Northumbria Police, said: “Before setting off for home, clear snow and ice from windows and headlights.
“It’s better to spend a few extra minutes making sure your windscreen is clear than risk an accident by only clearing a small area.
“Drivers should moderate their speed to match the conditions and should be aware, even on gritted roads, of the possibility of ice or black ice.
“Be aware that stopping distances are longer on wet or icy roads and drivers should maintain a safe distance from other road users.
“Motorists also need to keep a look out for pedestrians who may be walking on the road to avoid icy pavements.”
The Cleveland Police Road Policing Unit tweeted: “There are some very icy roads about and we have been called to a couple of vehicles going off the road overnight because drivers have been caught out.
“The A177 between Stockton and Sedgefield and the A689 between Wynyard and Sedgefied are very icy. On some parts of dual carriageways (the outside lanes) on the A19, A66, A174, A689 and A177 are covered in snow, ice or slush so please use common sense and keep to the clear parts.
“All routes are passable but please allow more time for your journey and keep your speed down even on roads which appear to have been salted.”