Finland Snow Chaos – BMW Light + Charge

Finland: gridlock as drivers struggle with first major snowfall of winter.

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Finland: photo via Liikennevirasto, see below.

Finland traffic and weather cams via Liikennevirasto, see below.

Countries that love to beat themselves up about poor winter-preparedness should take heart from what happened in southern Finland today (Friday).

The land of countless world rally champions – where supreme car control on slippery surfaces is said to be part of the national DNA – ground to halt as the first major snowfall of the year hit this afternoon.

Up to 9cm of snow fell in the space of a few hours as snow storms swept in from the east. The Baltic countries and Poland also saw major snowfall. Conditions are set to improve over the next week.

According to YLE News there were 45 accidents in the Helsinki region alone while Iltahleti said there were 160 crashes in total in the southern part of the country.

The capital’s Ring Road III came to a complete halt for several hours as trucks failed to climb even shallow inclines. There were also collisions on Ring Road I, on the Lahti motorway, at Helsinki airport and on the Karjaa-Lohja highway.

Fortunately there were no major injuries.

Finland is the only EU country where M+S winter tyres are compulsory throughout the winter months, whatever the conditions (see more here).

It is also the only country where speed limits are reduced, to 100kmh on motorways and 80kmh on main roads.

The Finnish Roads Administration Liikennevirasto tracks weather and road conditions in real time, including a comprehensive network of webcams.

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Light + Charge: BMW's electric i3 can now be charged from street lights. Not any old street lights obviously, only specially designed BMW 'modular LED' street lights. Now installed at BMW Welt in Munich but no doubt coming

Light + Charge: BMW’s electric i3 can now be charged from street lights. Not any old street lights obviously, only sleek, minimalist BMW-designed ‘modular LED’ street lights, with versions for full on main roads and side streets. Now installed at BMW Welt in Munich, coming to a well-heeled corner near you soon.

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