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PennDOT Outlines Winter Preparation and Safety Tips for Public

11/18/2020

Pittsburgh, PA –The Pennsylvania Department of Transportation (PennDOT) has outlined District 11’s plans for winter maintenance services and urges the public to be prepared ahead of the first accumulating snow fall. 

“During the winter months, our top priority in District 11 is to provide quality winter maintenance services to the traveling public,” said PennDOT Assistant District Executive of Maintenance, Angelo Pampena. “We understand you have jobs to go to and families at home, and we want to help you get to these places safely.”

Allegheny, Beaver and Lawrence counties begin planning winter operations in the middle of summer each year. With over 57,000 tons of salt and 101,000 gallons of brine currently on-hand, Department forces are ready to work to make the roads passable for motorists this winter using the compliment’s 124 plow trucks.

PennDOT’s primary focus is on interstates and expressways once snow begins to fall. The higher the traffic volume on a roadway, the more attention it will receive from plows. There may be more accumulations on less-traveled streets and the department asks motorists to adjust their driving routes accordingly.

The motoring public can 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 1,000 traffic cameras.

Locally, when winter roadway emergencies occur on state roads, District 11 utilizes its social media platforms to announce closures and interstate restrictions. This information can be found at www.twitter.com/511PAPittsburgh (follow @511PAPittsburgh) or the Pittsburgh Area Facebook Group at https://www.facebook.com/groups/pittsburghpenndot (join ‘Greater Pittsburgh Area PennDOT’).

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 or ice is dislodged and strikes another vehicle or pedestrian causing death or serious injury.

PennDOT also reminds motorists when encountering a plow truck on the road, give it plenty of space behind and on the sides. Additionally, motorists should never try to pass a plow truck, as it becomes a dangerous situation for everyone involved.

For more information on PennDOT's winter preparations and additional winter-driving resources, visit www.PennDOT.gov/winter. The site also has a complete winter guide with detailed information about winter services in each of PennDOT’s 11 engineering districts.

For more PennDOT information on highway safety, visit www.PennDOT.gov/safety

For regional twitter updates, visit www.twitter.com/511PAPittsburgh.

MEDIA CONTACT: Yasmeen Manyisha, 412-429-5044

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