Icy roads in northern Netherlands cause traffic chaos

THE HAGUE: Dutch authorities warned motorists in the north of the country not to take to the roads Wednesday as ice and freezing rain caused treacherous driving conditions. Dozens of accidents were reported.

The government's roads and waterways agency tweeted that the northeastern half of the country was affected by ice. The agency's advice in a tweet was simple: "Don't use the roads."

Drivers who ignored or missed the warnings faced long delays as cars and trucks slid off roads or collided. The Dutch Traffic Information Service reported at least 50 accidents in the worst-affected areas, though there were no reports of serious injuries.

It was the second day of major disruptions as wintery conditions finally arrived in the northern Netherlands. Some farmers had to flush away milk as collection trucks were briefly forced to stop driving their pickup routes, dairy company FrieslandCampina said.

With many schools in the region closed, some children made the most of the conditions by using pathways and roads as impromptu ice skating rinks.

Ironically, a speedskating event that was scheduled for Wednesday evening in the northern city of Assen had to be canceled because the slippery roads made it too dangerous for competitors to drive to the race.