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Roadside assistance teams gear up for the holiday season

The Automobile and Touring Club of Finland offers road service and towing for all motorists year round. During the holiday season, the organization beefs up its regional response teams under the name Operation Snowflake, to make sure no one stranded on the road misses out on Christmas and New Year’s festivities.

Operaatio Lumihiutale Kajaanissa
Juha Kemppainen from the Kainuu road services team stands at the ready with his son. Image: Tiia Korhonen / Yle

Operation Snowflake was launched on Saturday for the 48th consecutive year and will continue until January 1. Administered by the Automobile and Touring Club of Finland (Autoliitto), it makes sure that even greater teams of volunteers are standing by 24/7 to offer roadside assistance to motorists in need.  

Over the years, Operation Snowflake has helped hapless travellers deal with cars that won’t start, vehicles that run out of petrol, flat tyres and frozen engines.

The teams even assist many to retrieve the keys that they have inadvertently locked in the car, so they are free to continue their journey.

Teppo Vesalainen, the chief administrator of Autoliitto’s road service, says holiday travellers would do well to remember a couple of things before they set on long journeys over Finland’s roads.

His first pieces of advice is to check the air pressure in the tyres, bring a spare car key and fill the gas tank with the right kind of petrol. His second is to drive carefully and keep your composure on the road. 

Help is on the way

Call tel. 0200 8080 to access the 24/7 Operation Snowflake road service. The call costs 1.95 euros per minute, in addition to the local area network charge. The service centre will assess the need for assistance and send a road service team or towing company to help, if necessary.

The service providers in question charge for their services. When calling for assistance, it is good to ask the price in advance and agree about the method of payment.

Autoliitto also administers several voluntary road service teams that patrol the roads regularly. If they find a stranded motorist when passing by, the assistance they provide is usually free of charge. Assistance related with road traffic accidents also does not generally cost anything in Finland.

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