DOT urges drivers to stay off roads

Do yourself a favor: Take the keys out of the ignition, get out of the car, go back inside and do the smart thing.

Stay home.

Due to the likelihood of snow, freezing rain and ice, the Georgia Department of Transportation is urging drivers in metro Atlanta and the rest of north Georgia to stay off the road through at least midday Thursday. Snow came down across much of the region and parts of Gwinnett Tuesday morning, halting as the day progressed — but the worst was believed to be yet to come.

Forecasts for Tuesday night through Thursday morning included words like “catastrophic” and the possibility of ice covering roadways and downing power lines. A winter storm warning, which signifies at least an 80 percent chance of winter storm conditions, has been issued.

With that in mind, state officials asked drivers to limit their travel to absolute emergencies.

“We are starting to get reports of icing on bridges so please slow down, give yourself plenty of space between you and the vehicle in front of you and use lower gears on your vehile for additional traction,” Bayne Smith, the DOT’s district engineer for northeast Georgia, said Tuesday. ” … We ask you to please stay home and not drive unless it is an emergency.”