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dont-crowd-the-plowWith winter weather expected in parts of Massachusetts beginning Sunday evening, MassDOT advises the public to minimize or delay travel if possible during this event and make informed and safe decisions before driving.

“The weather forecast is calling for snow to begin on Sunday evening meaning that people who are planning on driving during the overnight or morning hours should monitor conditions and make smart decisions before heading out onto the roadways,” said Highway Administrator Jonathan Gulliver. “We remind all drivers that during inclement weather, they should exercise caution, reduce speeds, and give plenty of space to other motorists and snow and ice equipment. Our greatest priority is safety and we want everyone to reach their travel destination in order to enjoy time with friends and family members.”

MassDOT’s snow and ice operations have been activated throughout the weekend and will be deployed as conditions necessitate. Crews are currently conducting preparation activities in advance of Sunday evening’s winter weather including pretreating the roadways at locations throughout the Commonwealth with brine and Magnesium Chloride. MassDOT is also currently planning deployments of snowplows and spreaders and maintenance equipment.

In the worst storms this season, MassDOT’s Highway Division would be able to utilize up to 700 staff members to perform snow and ice removal operations on more than 15,000 lanes miles of roadway throughout the Commonwealth. This snow and ice season, MassDOT will have approximately 4,200 pieces of state and vendor equipment available using over 150 depots and storage locations. This includes over 1,300 plow and spreader combos, 2,100 plows, and 460 front-end loaders.

If drivers must go out on the roadways, they are advised to drive the conditions, lower their speeds, give themselves extra time to reach their destinations, and remember MassDOT’s message, “Don’t Crowd the Plow,” and stay behind snow removal equipment on the roadways. MassDOT strongly urges drivers to always wear seatbelts, minimize distractions, turn off or put away cell-phones and devote full attention to what is ahead on the road.

For updates on road and traffic conditions in Massachusetts, drivers can:

  • Dial 511 before heading out onto the roadways and select a route to hear real-time conditions.
  • Visit www.mass511.com, a website which provides real-time traffic and incident advisory information, access to traffic cameras, and allows users to subscribe to text and email alerts for traffic conditions.
  • Follow MassDOT on Twitter @MassDOT to receive regular updates on road and traffic conditions
  • Download MassDOT’s GoTime mobile app and view real-time traffic conditions before setting out on the road.

Other important winter driving tips include:

  • Clear snow and ice from all windows and lights, even the hood and roof, before driving, (start with the tailpipe).
  • Leave plenty of room for stopping.
  • Remember that the posted speed limits are for dry pavement.
  • Use brakes carefully. Brake early. Brake correctly. It takes more time and distance to stop in adverse conditions.
  • Bridge decks freeze first. Due to the difference in the exposure to air, the surface condition can be worse on a bridge than on the approach road.
  • Leave room for maintenance vehicles and plows – stay back at least 200 feet and don’t pass on the right.
  • Seat belts should be worn at all times – it’s the law.
  • Most importantly please remember to slow down.

Please review more information on safe winter driving.

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