RCMP warned drivers to stay off the roads and students were held back in schools across the province as freezing rain blanketed Prince Edward Island on Wednesday.

Freezing rain that started late Wednesday morning made driving conditions treacherous. RCMP said there were 26 collisions since late morning — 10 collisions in Prince County, 12 in Queens County and four in Kings County.

"It was a fast freeze on the roads today so it took a lot of time and a little extra care to get around," said Mike Berrigan, the highway maintenance superintendent for Prince County.

"In some places they did have to stop and just kind of wait for a few minutes and get some traction and keep going. There have been a few sanders that kind of slid off on the shoulder of the road and had to get assistance to get going again. So that all takes time."

Schools across the province delayed dismissing students by an hour and a half in order to allow road and sidewalk conditions to improve.

The Charlottetown Police Service warned the sidewalks are dangerous for pedestrians.

"It doesn't look that bad, but it is actually quite bad," said Jane Jenkins.

The University of Prince Edward Island also warned its students of conditions on campus and said it was working to apply salt to walkways.

Environment Canada said the freezing rain is moving from west to east.

"It also gave some freezing rain into New Brunswick, where they closed some of the schools this morning," said Linda Libby, a Charlottetown-based meteorologist with Environment Canada.

"It's pushing its way through Newfoundland and up into the coast of Labrador later today."