Harrisburg, PA – With the winter season approaching, the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation (PennDOT) is highlighting winter-service preparations and how the public should also get ready for the season.
“We’ve been preparing for this winter since the last one ended, and we need the public’s help to make the season a safe one,” PennDOT Secretary Yassmin Gramian said. “Preparation before you travel is key, but driver responsibility is important on the road too.”
The public can access travel information on nearly 40,000 state-maintained roadway miles year-round at www.511PA.com, and during the winter they can find plow-truck locations and details of when state-maintained roadways were last plowed. The information is made possible by PennDOT’s Automated Vehicle Location (AVL) technology, which uses units in each of the roughly 2,200 department-owned and rented plow trucks to send a cellular signal showing where a truck is located.
To help the public prepare for the season and share information about winter services, PennDOT offers operational information and traveler resources at www.penndot.gov/winter. In addition to vehicle preparation tips and other personal resources, the site also has a complete winter guide with detailed information about services in each of PennDOT’s 11 engineering districts.
With $223 million budgeted for this winter’s statewide operations, PennDOT deploys about 4,700 on-the-road workers, has more than 700,000 tons of salt on hand across the state and will take salt deliveries throughout the winter.
PennDOT is actively seeking more than 700 temporary equipment operators statewide for the winter season to supplement the department’s full-time staff. Details on minimum requirements, such as possession of a commercial driver’s license (CDL), as well as application information, are available at www.employment.pa.gov. Through the same website, job seekers can apply for other types of non-operator winter positions such as diesel and construction equipment mechanics, welders, clerks and more.
If motorists encounter snow or ice-covered roads, they should slow down, increase their following distance and avoid distractions. Last winter in Pennsylvania, preliminary data shows that there were 151 crashes resulting in three fatalities and 81 injuries on snowy, slushy or ice-covered roadways where aggressive driving behaviors such as speeding or making careless lane changes were factors.
Motorists should prepare for potential bad weather by ensuring they have supplies in their cars before heading out: food, water, blankets, extra gloves and hats, cell phone charger, hand or foot warmers, windshield brush and scraper and any specialized items like medications or baby and pet supplies.
For more information on PennDOT’s winter preparations and additional winter driving resources for motorists, visit the department’s winter website, www.PennDOT.gov/winter. The public is encouraged to subscribe to statewide PennDOT alerts at www.penndot.gov under “News,” and subscribe to alerts for their region under “Regional Offices.”
Motorists can check conditions on more than 40,000 roadway miles, including color-coded winter conditions on 2,900 miles, by visiting www.511PA.com. 511PA, which is free and available 24 hours a day, provides traffic delay warnings, weather forecasts, traffic speed information, and access to more than 1,000 traffic cameras. 511PA is also available through a free smartphone application for iPhone and Android devices, by calling 5-1-1, or by following regional twitter alerts accessible on the 511PA website.
For more PennDOT information, visit www.penndot.gov.