BILLINGS — Freezing rain led to slick road conditions as commuters made their way to work and school Wednesday morning. Just before 7 a.m., the Billings Police Department activated its slick streets policy, now called the accident alert policy, where officers ask the public to not call in for non-injury accidents.
"I'm sliding everywhere," Jessica Daines said from the Town Pump at the corner of Grand Avenue and 32nd Street West. “People don’t anticipate that it’s going to be this icy.”
Daines was speaking for herself, as she was late to class because of the weather.
“My car was so frozen that I was late. Yeah, so I’m late to class and then I didn’t anticipate the roads to be this icy so I’m not going to make it to my first class,” Daines said.
While Daines may have been late, Jillian Evans was at Miles Avenue Elementary School at 7:30 a.m. to start her day.
“With the roads being slick, sometimes (drivers are) not quick enough to stop for me,” said Evans, a crosswalk guard. “I know where the icy spots are. Usually, in the school zone right here, the white spots are already slick and stuff, and I’ve already slipped on some of it. As well as my corners are slick now too.”
According to Billings police Lt. Matt Lennick, before noon, police had responded to three hit-and-runs, five property damage crashes and four injury crashes. The slick street policy allows officers to respond to calls for service that have higher priority and to minimize wait time for those calls.