NDDOT reminds motorists to watch for snow plows and utilize latest tools for road condition info
November 16, 2016
With winter weather approaching the North Dakota Department of Transportation (NDDOT) is reminding motorists to share the road with snow plows and utilize the latest tech tools to find out road conditions before you head out on the road this winter.
Watch for Snow Plows
Motorists should be prepared to share the road with snow plows and other snow fighting equipment. Don’t crowd the plow. Sharing the road with snow plows is important. By following a few basic tips, you and your passengers can reach your destination safely:
- Slow down and drive for the conditions. Most winter crashes are caused by driving too fast for conditions.
- Stay back. Sometimes snow plows have to stop and back up and they often spread sanding material.
- Know where the plow is on multi-lane roadways. The TowPlows could be in both lanes or on the shoulder.
- Be extremely cautious when passing a snow plow. They can be moved sideways by snow drifts and hard snow packs.
- Never drive through “white-outs” caused by cross winds or plowing light snow. Be patient and wait until you can see. Snow plows pull over and stop to allow traffic to pass when it is safe to do so.
- Motorists should be aware of the “Move over Law.” If you approach a snow plow or other emergency vehicles with flashing lights that is stopped on the shoulder of a multi-lane road, you must move over.
Know Before You Go
The NDDOT snow plow crews work hard to keep roads safe and inform travelers of road conditions working 5 a.m. to 10 p.m. every day, even holidays.
“The tools provided give motorists a good idea on what to expect in winter weather,” explains Brad Darr, NDDOT Maintenance Director. “While we work hard to keep travelers informed, it’s important to know road conditions change very quickly and you should be ready for any type of winter driving conditions.”
The NDDOT provides multiple ways to get road condition information. It is important for motorists to know road conditions can vary from what is being reported:
- NDRoads smartphone app- our latest road condition tool is available for free at the Apple app store, Google Play and Windows Phone store.
- Web-based Travel Information Map at dot.nd.gov.
- Email and text alerts through GovDelivery service. Select “Message Center” to receive important alerts including Travel Advisories and Road Closures.
- Call 511
The NDDOT also issues travel warnings on state highways and interstates. These warnings should be taken seriously and are for the safety of the traveling public. There are three categories you should familiarize yourself with:
- Travel Alert- Motorists can still travel but may encounter areas of challenging winter weather driving conditions on roadways.
- No Travel Advisory- Motorists should NOT TRAVEL due to hazardous conditions which make it unsafe to travel.
- Road Closed or Blocked- Motorists are not allowed to travel on closed roads due to life threatening conditions.
Be prepared for winter travel. To learn more about winter driving safety or road condition information please visit www.dot.nd.gov.
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