Lou Hatter 540-829-7537
Feb. 2, 2010
HAZARDOUS ROAD CONDITIONS EXPECTED MONDAY NIGHT
Crews on duty overnight; motorists urged to avoid unnecessary travel
CULPEPER —Motorists are urged to avoid unnecessary travel overnight Monday and Tuesday morning since road conditions are likely to be hazardous. Temperatures are forecast to fall below freezing and that, coupled with additional snow, will make roads extremely slick and possibly reduce visibility.
Roads across Piedmont Virginia are reported in minor condition, with patches of snow and ice on Interstate 66, I-64 and the primary highways. Secondary roads are snow-covered and likely to be slick with the fresh snow covering any remaining snow and ice from last weekend’s storm.
VDOT crews will work all night, focusing their snow-removal efforts first on the interstates and primary highways and moving to the secondary system as conditions warrant. The crews will plow as the snow accumulates and also treat the roads with sand and salt. The sand improves traction and the salt helps melt the snow and prevents it from bonding to the road surface. VDOT will continue its emergency operations around the clock through the storm.
If travel is essential during the storm VDOT recommends that drivers reduce their speed and increase following distance in case they encounter slippery conditions.
Real-time road conditions and weather forecasts are available on VDOT’s traffic and travel Web site, www.511Virginia.org. The site also has live traffic camera images for many major highways, including I-64, I-66 and Routes 29 and 250 in Central Virginia. Motorists can call 511 from any telephone in Virginia for road and traffic conditions on all major highways in the state.
VDOT offers the following tips for driving in winter weather:
• Postpone unnecessary travel until conditions improve. If you must drive, know the current road conditions and weather forecasts.
• Make sure your windows, mirrors and lights are clear of ice and snow.
• Always wear your seat belt.
• Allow extra time to travel to your destination.
• Be aware of potentially icy areas such as bridges, overpasses and shady spots. Also, if there is heavy snow, ice or high winds, be alert to potential driving hazards including downed branches, trees and electric lines.
• Reduce speed as appropriate and keep a safe distance of at least five seconds behind other vehicles and snowplows.
• Do not pass a snowplow unless it is absolutely necessary. Remember, the plow is clearing a path for you.
• Keep an emergency winter driving kit in your car. The kit should include a small bag of rock salt, sand or cat litter to provide traction in case you get stuck, a snowbrush and ice scraper, a flashlight, battery booster cables, a blanket and extra clothing.
• Practice common sense. Remember that your car cannot start, stop, or turn as quickly and surely on snow or ice as it does on dry pavement, so think and drive accordingly.
Note to reporters and editors: Additional information about VDOT’s preparations for winter weather, how the agency responds to snow and ice, FAQs and information about the technology and tools VDOT uses in its winter weather response is available on the Web, www.virginiadot.org/newsroom/snowseason.asp
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.