Ice Roads

Ice roads are established for the traffic of vehicles between the mainland and islands or different parts of the mainland. From the first indications of the formation of ice coverage, the Maritime Administration shall close vessel traffic in Väinameri on the basis of an application by the Road Administration.

The Road Administration shall order the establishment and maintenance of Heltermaa–Rohuküla, Kuivastu–Virtsu, Sõru–Triigi, Rohuküla–Sviby, Lao–Kihnu, Haapsalu–Noarootsi and Laaksaare–Piirissaare ice roads from companies that possess the relevant competency. Pursuant to contracts concluded with the companies, the responsibility of the establishment and maintenance of the ice roads lies on the companies who shall carry out inspections, organise traffic management, surveillance, as well as the transmission of information concerning the condition of the ice road. The Road Administration shall supervise compliance with the terms of the contract.

 

Traffic rules on ice roads

 

  • ice roads are only open for traffic during daylight, traffic shall be closed in case visibility is less than 300 m;

  • Recommended speed limit is up to 25 km/h or 40-70 km/h (at the speed of 25-40 km/h, a vehicle may create resonance that may in turn induce the breaking of ice);

  • ice roads may only be entered at designated places with a minimal interval of 2 minutes between vehicles;

  • the distance between vehicles on an ice road must be no less than 250 metres;

  • overtaking a vehicle driving in front and two-way traffic on the same lane is prohibited;

  • it is prohibited to turn off a marked ice road;

  • safety belts must be unfastened and it must be made sure that the doors of the vehicle could be easily opened;

  • uneven sections must be crossed as slowly as possible;

  • it is prohibited to stop the motor vehicle or speed on the ice road, as well as to navigate it during snowstorm, fog or darkness.


Ice road surveillance service must be immediately informed of all dangerous changes, unmarked dangers or stopped vehicles on the ice road. If the ice condition does not allow for further driving, the road user must immediately turn back and warn other road users on the ice road, as well as the surveillance staff of bad road conditions.

Other information:

  • ice roads may be closed for traffic in case of changing weather or ice conditions;

  • traffic rules of ice roads are exhibited on information boards set up by the entrance points;

  • the condition of ice roads is checked every morning and the roads that are to be opened are announced via the Traffic Management Centre.

Before entering an ice road, save the telephone number of the surveillance staff exhibited on the board at the entry point of the ice road in order to call for help if necessary.

Urgent request for drivers: do not enter ice roads that have not yet been opened, it is extremely dangerous!