As the winter season approaches, the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation (PennDOT), outlined the District’s plans for winter maintenance services and encouraged the public to be prepared ahead of the first accumulating snowfall.
“District 11 prides itself on providing quality winter maintenance services to our customers,” said PennDOT Allegheny County Maintenance Manager, Lori Musto. “As the Department values the safety of the traveling public, our crews spend months preparing for the winter season.”
When snow hits, PennDOT’s primary focus is on interstates and expressways. The more traffic volume a roadway has, the more attention it will receive from plows. There may be more accumulations on less-traveled streets and driving routes should be adjusted accordingly.
Motorists can always check conditions on more than 40,000 roadway miles, including color-coded winter conditions on 2,900 miles, by using the 511PA free smartphone app, by calling 5-1-1, or by visiting www.511PA.com. 511PA, which is free and available 24 hours a day, provides traffic delay warnings, weather forecasts, traffic speed information and access to more than 950 traffic cameras.
Additionally, motorists should prepare their vehicles for the winter by checking fluid levels, lights, defrosters and windshield wiper blades. Tires should also be checked often for the correct level of air pressure and adequate tire-tread depth to safely perform on ice and snow.
Once vehicles are travel-ready, drivers should be prepared for winter or vehicle emergencies. PennDOT urges the traveling public to carry an emergency kit, which should include items such as non-perishable food, water, first-aid supplies, warm clothes, a blanket, cell phone charger and a small snow shovel. The kits should be tailored to the specific needs of the individuals in the vehicle, with items such as baby supplies, extra medication, pet supplies or even children’s games.
Drivers should properly clear their vehicles from snow and ice before getting on the road, especially from the roof, trunk and hood. Drivers can be cited for not clearing their vehicle if snow and ice are dislodged and strike another, causing a crash.
PennDOT also reminds motorists when encountering a plow truck on the road, give it plenty of space. The areas close to the sides and behind a plow truck are considered the “No Zones.” Drivers should avoid this area and never try to pass a plow truck. This becomes a dangerous situation for everyone involved.