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winter-traffic-natick-december-5-2016MassDOT advises the public that with snowfall expected Saturday, motorists are advised to minimize travel where possible, consider public transportation, and make informed and safe decisions before heading out onto the roadways.

“The weather forecast is calling for snow to begin on Saturday morning, mix with sleet or rain throughout the day, and continue in the evening hours, decreasing visibility and braking time,” said Highway Administrator Jonathan Gulliver. “Our greatest priority is ensuring the safety of the traveling public and we encourage everyone to make smart, informed decisions if they must head out onto the roadways on Saturday, drive the conditions, and exercise safe driving behavior.”

MassDOT’s snow and ice operations will be activated.  Crews are currently conducting preparation activities in advance of the winter weather. For example, crews will be pretreating the roadways at locations throughout the Commonwealth with brine and Magnesium Chloride, and planning deployments of snowplows and spreaders and maintenance equipment. MassDOT’s Highway Division utilizes 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.
  • Exit ramps are an even greater challenge during the winter since they may have received less anti-icing material than the main line.
  • 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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