Motorists Urged to Avoid Travel if Possible
Harrisburg, PA – In response to winter weather today, the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation (PennDOT) this morning placed vehicle restrictions on interstates in south central Pennsylvania. Additional speed and vehicle restrictions on these and other interstates could be added depending on changing conditions. Motorists are encouraged to avoid unnecessary travel if possible.
Tier 1 of the commonwealth’s weather event vehicle restriction plan are in place in south central Pennsylvania on the following roads:
• The entire length if Interstate 78;
• Intestate 81 from the Maryland state line to Interstate 80;
• The entire length if Interstate 83;
• The entire length of Interstate 283;
Under Tier 1 restrictions, the following vehicles are not permitted on affected roadways:
• Tractors without trailers;
• Tractors towing unloaded or lightly loaded enclosed trailers, open trailers or tank trailers;
• Tractors towing unloaded or lightly loaded tandem trailers;
• Enclosed cargo delivery trucks that meet the definition of a CMV;
• Passenger vehicles (cars, SUV’s, pickup trucks, etc.) towing trailers;
• Recreational vehicles/motorhomes;
• School buses, commercial buses and motor coaches not carrying chains or Alternate Traction Devices (ATD’s); and
Motorists always should be alert for sudden squalls which can strike with little or no warning and quickly cause roads to become snow covered. Heavy squalls also can cause whiteout conditions, virtually eliminating a driver’s visibility.
If motorists do encounter snow squalls while traveling, PennDOT offers this advice:
• Slow down gradually and drive at a speed that suits conditions.
• Turn on your headlights.
• Stay in your lane and increase your following distance.
• Stay alert, keep looking as far ahead as possible and be patient.
• Do not drive distracted; your full attention is required.
• Use your defroster and wipers.
• Keep windows and mirrors free of snow and ice.
• During whiteouts, come to a complete stop only when you can safely pull off the roadway.
• Do not stop in the flow of traffic since this could cause a chain-reaction collision.
• Do not pass a vehicle moving slowly or speed up to get away from a vehicle that is following too closely.
• Always buckle up and never drive impaired.
Motorists are reminded that roadways will not be free of snow while precipitation is falling. With freezing temperatures, roads that look wet may actually be icy, and extra caution is needed when approaching bridges and highway ramps where ice can form without warning.
The department also asks motorists to allow plenty of space when driving near plow trucks. Also, for their own safety and the safety of plow operators, motorists should never attempt to pass a truck while it is plowing or spreading winter materials.
While PennDOT recommends not traveling during winter storms, motorists can check conditions on more than 40,000 roadway miles, including color-coded winter conditions on 2,900 miles, 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.
For more information on safe winter travel, an emergency kit checklist and information on PennDOT’s winter operations including a video, visit www.PennDOT.gov/winter. Additional winter driving and other highway safety information is available at www.PennDOT.gov/safety.
Follow the conversation by using #PAWinter on Twitter at www.twitter.com/PennDOTNews and visit the department on Facebook at www.facebook.com/PennsylvaniaDepartmentofTransportation.
MEDIA CONTACT: Fritzi Schreffler, 717-418-5016
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