Winter weather preparations kicked into high gear this evening as 399 Georgia DOT employees were on call and the first shift of the maintenance crews in District Three in West Central Georgia gassed up trucks equipped with snow plows and salt and stone spreaders, in case roads become covered with snow or ice.
In the 31 counties of West Central Georgia, the state DOT has the following resources to deal with the current winter weather storm:
399 employees on call
45 snow plows
7 Hopper Spreaders
17 motor graders
4,600 tons of salt
4,000 tons of gravel
When winter weather hits West Central Georgia, keeping the state highways safe for emergency vehicles becomes a top priority. Georgia DOT crews focus first on clearing interstates and heavily traveled state routes from snow and/or ice, and will specifically target areas vulnerable to freezing, like bridges, ramps and interchanges.
Motorists are urged to:
- Slow down and stay behind the snowplows. The road behind the plow will be the safest place to drive. Allow at least ten car lengths between your vehicle and snowplows or hopper spreaders.
- Do not pass. The plows are wide, and sometimes a group of trucks will work in tandem to clear snow quickly, especially on major highways.
- Be particularly aware of black ice conditions on surfaces such as bridge decks and entrance and exit ramps late tonight and the early hours of tomorrow morning.
- Remember that technology helps, but only to a point. Four-wheel drive, anti-lock brakes and traction control are beneficial advancements in today's cars, trucks and SUVs, but they can't take the place of good driving habits and the need to reduce speed on snowy or icy roads.
- Call 511 or visit www.georgia-navigator.com to get current information on road conditions. Georgia 511 is a free phone service that provides real-time traffic and travel information statewide, such as traffic conditions, incidents, lane closures, and delays due to inclement weather. Callers also can transfer to operators to request assistance or report incidents 24 hours a day, seven days a week. More information is available at www.511ga.org