In wintry conditions, slow down and avoid passing plow trucks

Posted 11/15/19

As winter arrives, drivers are reminded to drive slower on slick roads and avoid passing plow trucks.

Last winter, drivers hit several Wyoming Department of Transportation snowplows. One incident …

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In wintry conditions, slow down and avoid passing plow trucks

Posted

As winter arrives, drivers are reminded to drive slower on slick roads and avoid passing plow trucks.

Last winter, drivers hit several Wyoming Department of Transportation snowplows. One incident occurred between Thermopolis and Meeteetse in early March when an oilfield service truck hit a WYDOT plow truck while attempting to pass on the right side of the plow. The wreck occurred in a multi-lane section of Wyo. Highway 120 near Grass Creek.

Just days after that wreck, another plow truck was hit from behind in southern Wyoming during a blizzard which caused limited visibility on Interstate 80 and other highways. WYDOT Meeteetse Maintenance Foreman Shawn Coggins said it's important for citizens to realize that WYDOT plow trucks are out on the highways during and after snowstorms.

Snowplow professionals need cooperation from drivers so they can do their jobs and keep the road safe for drivers, he said. Simply, give them room to operate.

"Stay well back from operating snowplows," Coggins said. "They are spreading sand, anti-icing and de-icing chemicals on the roadway. It's always a good idea to stay back from snowplows while their operators are doing their jobs."

WYDOT continues to see people passing the plow truck at inappropriate times.

"Sometimes it takes a little time, but we'll get out of the way when it's safe," he said. "If we're not moving over for drivers, it's because it's not safe."

WYDOT employees are on the roads when the conditions are the worst, and they're out there between storms, too.

"Remember, the safest driving surface is behind the plow. If you must pass, don't pass on the right into the plume of snow being moved," Coggins said. "Be sure on two-lane highways that you have plenty of time to pass. Keep a close watch. These huge
plow trucks often stir up their own snow cloud while doing their work. It's impossible to see what's coming at you when passing a plow truck."

WYDOT snowplows usually operate at slower speeds than other traffic.

"Always remember our plows are helping to keep you safe,"  Coggins said.

 

Winter travel info:

  • WYDOT road conditions: www.wyoroad.info or call 1-888-WYO-ROAD
  • National Weather Service in Riverton: www.crh.noaa.gov/riw
  • The Wyoming 511 smart phone app is available for free download from the Apple App Store and the Google Play Store. Search for the Wyoming 511 app, and look for the blue icon with the WYDOT logo on it.
  • 511 Notify: Dial 511 on your cellphone to obtain road information. This system can also be enabled to deliver road alerts as text messages to your phone or emails to your computer or phone on routes that the user identifies. Go to www.wyoroad.info and choose the 511 notify icon to set-up your account.
  • In case of emergency, Wyoming Highway Patrol can be reached at 800-442-9090 or call 911.

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