Due to snowy, wet conditions across the region, the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation (PennDOT) is advising motorists to avoid unnecessary travel during the winter storm. Winter weather is expected through Saturday morning. Additionally, it is possible that speed restrictions will be implemented on various roadways during this weather event.
Restrictions will be communicated via variable message boards, the 511PA traveler information website and smartphone apps.
Weather throughout the storm is expected to impact many counties in Pennsylvania, with higher amounts of snow accumulation expected in the northern counties.
PennDOT’s primary goal is to keep roads passable, not completely free of ice and snow. PennDOT crews will continue to treat and plow roadways throughout the storm until precipitation stops and roads are clear.
PennDOT urges motorists to avoid travel if possible during the winter weather. If travel is necessary, use caution, reduce speeds and be aware of changing weather conditions.
Drivers should prepare or restock their emergency kits with items such as non-perishable food, water, first-aid supplies, warm clothes, a blanket, cell phone charger and a small snow shovel. Motorists should tailor their kits to any specific needs that they or their families have such as baby supplies, extra medication and pet supplies.
When winter weather occurs, drivers should extra cautious around operating snow-removal equipment. When encountering a plow truck, drivers should:
- Stay at least six car lengths behind an operating plow truck and remember that the main plow is wider than the truck.
- Be alert since plow trucks generally travel much more slowly than other traffic.
- When a plow truck is traveling toward you, move as far away from the center of the road as is safely possible, and remember that snow can obscure the actual snow plow width.
- Never try to pass or get between several trucks plowing side by side in a “plow train.” The weight of the snow thrown from the plow can quickly cause smaller vehicles to lose control, creating a hazard for nearby vehicles.
- Never travel next to a plow truck since there are blind spots where the operator can’t see, and they can occasionally be moved sideways when hitting drifts or heavy snowpack.
- Keep your lights on to help the operator better see your vehicle. Also remember that under Pennsylvania state law, vehicle lights must be on every time a vehicle’s wipers are on due to inclement weather.
Motorists are reminded the law requires drivers to remove accumulated ice or snow from their vehicle, including the hood, trunk, and roof within 24 hours after the storm has ended. This applies to all vehicles, including commercial vehicles. Drivers in violation of the law are subject to a fine of $50. Additionally, motorists can be cited up to $1,500 if snow or ice is dislodged and strikes another vehicle or pedestrian causing death or serious injury.