NOAROOTSI JÄÄTEE

The longest ice road in Europe has it’s own rules

The longest ice road in Europe stretches from the seaside resort town of Haapsalu to the Noarootsi peninsula in western Estonia. I cuts travel time significantly as drivers take a shortcut across the frozen Baltic sea.

The regular highway code doesn’t apply on this road. It has it’s own rules.

  • The ice road is open only in the daylight
  • The recommended speed is up to 25 km/h (16 mph) and 40-70 km/h (25–43 mph). Not recommended speed is 25-40 km/h (16-25 mph)due to the danger of creating ‘resonance in the ice layer’ – or a wave beneath the surface which could break the ice
  • The distance between two cars must be at least 250m
  • The cars cannot stop, speed or drive if there’s a snowstorm, fog or darkness
  • It’s not allowed to wear seat belts and drivers have to make sure, the doors of the car are easily openable

Mother Nature dictates how long Estonia’s ice roads stay open for – temperatures need to plummet for the ice to reach the required thickness of around 30cm (11 inches).

The road is open only from 10am until 5pm, and is restricted to vehicles weighing up to two and a half tons.

The original article was published in The Daily Mail:
http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-3402954/The-cold-hard-shoulder-Estonia-opens-ice-roads-winter-don-t-wear-seatbelt-stay-25mph-fall-freeze-death.html

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