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"Estonia opens its ice roads for the winter - but don't wear a seatbelt and stay over 25mph or you might fall through and freeze to death"
A road on which you cannot wear seatbelts, wolves may cross your path and driving is not allowed after sunset, has now opened to plucky drivers.
Estonia has opened the first of its six official ice roads, from the seaside resort town of Haapsalu to the Noarootsi peninsula in western Estonia.
The road, the shortest of the six national ice roads potentially opened each winter, cuts travel time significantly as drivers take a shortcut across the frozen Baltic sea.
The 18-mile drive from Haapsalu to the Noarootsi can be shortened to a mere two and a half miles by using the ice road route.
But there is a risk of death, freezing and drowning should the ice break.
And the regular highway code doesn't apply on this road which opens from 10am until 5pm, and is restricted to vehicles weighing up to two and a half tons.
Drivers and their passengers are not allowed to wear seatbelts because they might need to make a fast exit from the vehicle due to the danger of drowning if the ice cracks.
With patrols keeping watch throughout the day, vehicles are only allowed to enter the road in three minute intervals and drivers are advised not get too close to the car ahead of them in case the weight causes a crack in the ice.
Cars cannot stop and recommended travelling speeds are under 16 mph or between 25–43 mph due to the danger of creating 'resonance in the ice layer' - or a wave beneath the surface which could break the ice.
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