Metro Wire Staff
Gov. Tony Evers has proclaimed Monday, November 30, as Snowplow Driver Appreciation Day in Wisconsin.
The declaration reminds drivers to give snowplow drivers plenty of space to complete their jobs safely.
“Wisconsin winter weather ranges from freezing rain to heavy accumulations of snow – sometimes all in one day. No matter the conditions, Wisconsin’s snowplow drivers ensure that necessary travel can take place,” Wisconsin Department of Transportation Secretary-designee Craig Thompson said. “Motorists can help snowplow drivers by driving carefully, giving snowplows room to work, and, when possible, avoiding travel during storms.”
For more than 100 years, Wisconsin has maintained a unique partnership with the state’s 72 county highway departments. During the winter, county highway workers help keep the state highway systems safe by providing snow plowing, salting, and liquid applications.
WisDOT works with Wisconsin counties year-round to establish best practices, test new tools, and develop new methods for brining and winter maintenance efficiency.
Safety tips from WisDOT:
· Before traveling, call 511, or go online to check on road conditions and possible incidents. Consider downloading the 511 Wisconsin smartphone app.
· Buckle up, phone down. Watch what’s happening ahead of you and allow plenty of following distance.
· Most traffic crashes in winter are caused by drivers going too fast for conditions. Posted speed limits apply when travel conditions are ideal. Drivers are advised to slow down when roads are slick or visibility is reduced.
· Stay at least 200 feet behind a working snowplow. Make sure that you can see the plow’s mirrors to ensure the driver can see you.
· If you must pass, be careful. Snowplows often create a cloud of snow that can obscure vision. Remember that road conditions in front of the plow will likely be worse.
· Don’t be over-confident if you operate a four-wheel or all-wheel-drive vehicle. They still require a considerable distance to stop on slick roadways.
· During major winter storms, postpone or cancel your trip. Stranded motorists and vehicles become hazards that interfere with snow removal efforts.