Sandy Myers 540-332-9201
Cellular: (540) 292-2500
Ken Slack 540-332-9264
Cellular: (540) 414-5670
Dec. 11, 2008
WINTER WEATHER POSSIBLE IN SHENANDOAH VALLEY
Motorists are reminded that ice and freezing rain conditions can still produce hazardous driving conditions, even when roads are treated. People should not drive unless absolutely necessary. People who are driving in winter road conditions should use extra caution particularly on bridges, overpasses, curves, hills and ramps.
Road condition information can be obtained at www.511Virginia.org. This Web site contains color coded maps indicating various road conditions. Traffic cameras and other travel information such as incidents and construction work zones are also available. Callers can dial 511 to obtain incident, work zones and road condition information. (TTY users, call 711)
During snow events, VDOT works to have all roads passable within 48 hours after the storm ends. Crews begin by clearing interstates, primary roads and major secondary roads that connect localities, fire stations, employment hubs, military posts, schools, hospitals and other important public facilities. Secondary roads and subdivision streets will be treated if multi-day storms hit the commonwealth, but crews will focus on roads that carry the most traffic.
Snow-removal crews work around the clock in 12-hour shifts. VDOT’s goal is to have all state-maintained roads passable within 48 hours after a storm ends. Snow plow drivers and sand/salt trucks have specific assigned routes to maximize efficiency. VDOT will begin to plow a road once one to two inches of snow has accumulated on the roadway. In the meantime, sand, salt and other chemicals will be used to increase traction and melt snow and ice.
A statewide network of 46 weather sensors embedded in roadways and bridges allow VDOT to quickly identify when and where road surfaces might be freezing. In addition, traffic cameras are strategically located along major routes to give VDOT’s Transportation Operations Centers a bird’s eye view of current road and traffic conditions. VDOT also relies on reports from its Safety Service Patrols, Virginia State Police and other transportation partners.
Winter Driving Tips:
• Delay travel until VDOT has had a chance to clear the roads. Traffic prevents the road from being cleared.
• Keep vehicle windows, mirrors, roofs and lights clear of snow and ice.
• Allow extra time to arrive at your destination.
• Wear your seat belt.
• Drive slowly and know the road conditions. Ice may not be visible.
• Stay alert. Ice is common in shady areas and on bridges.
• Keep a safe distance of at least five car lengths behind other vehicles.
• Avoid passing trucks that are spreading chemicals or plowing snow unless it is absolutely necessary. Never cut between a caravan of snowplows.
• Park your car in a driveway to give snowplows room to work.
• If an emergency occurs during a snow storm, call 911. Emergency responders will contact VDOT if it is necessary to plow a specific road to get to an emergency.
• Keep a winter driving kit in your vehicle.
Information in VDOT news releases was accurate at the time the release was published. For the most current information about projects or programs, please visit the project or program Web pages. You may find those by searching by keyword in the search Virginia DOT box above.