OHIO DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION
District 11 Office of Communications – 2201 Reiser Ave. SE, New Philadelphia, Ohio 44663
ODOT’s Equipment Ready for Ice and Snow; Is Yours?
Eastern Ohio motorists encouraged to equip vehicles for safe driving during winter weather
NEW PHILADELPHIA, OHIO (November 24, 2009) – The Ohio Department of Transportation (ODOT) District 11 spent most of October readying its fleet of snow-clearing equipment and highly-trained crews for the 2009-2010 Winter Season. Now, ODOT is charging eastern Ohio motorists with the same task by asking them if their vehicles are ready for safe driving during upcoming winter weather.
Winter conditions can be taxing on your vehicle, and driving in winter weather requires preparation. ODOT District 11 Deputy Director Richard Bible, P.E. said, "Before the first snow begins to fall, we are encouraging motorists to check their vehicle’s tires, brakes, fluids, wiper blades, lights, belts, and hoses to make sure they’re in good condition. A breakdown is bad on a good day but can be very dangerous on a bad-weather day."
During the month of November last year, there were almost 2,000 crashes related to snow and ice on Ohio’s state highway system. Therefore, ODOT is reminding motorists that this time of year proves to be challenging, especially in the early morning commute hours for drivers. Bible said, "Even when the pavement appears to be just wet, motorists should remember to slow down when approaching intersections, off-ramps, bridges, or shady spots, because these are prime locations for black ice — a thin coating of clear ice that can form on the pavement surface during the overnight hours and can be difficult to see."
Lt. Eric Escola, New Philadelphia Post Commander for the Ohio State Highway Patrol said, "Motorists can commit to do their part by driving a safe speed for conditions, avoid following too closely and by planning ahead for unfavorable conditions. During winter weather, increased attention to safe driving techniques and keeping equipment, such as tires, in good working order is critical."
Winter driving is just not normal. Travel conditions can change from mile to mile, minute to minute. And the first storm is the worst, because many motorists don’t remember the winter driving skills they developed the previous year. ODOT reminds motorists that speed limits are for when pavement is clear and dry. ODOT’s best advice: in Ice and Snow… Take it Slow.
Up-to-the-minute road conditions are always available by logging onto BuckeyeTraffic.org. During events, road conditions are updated as often as necessary, with information such as current weather, roadway surface temperature, general roadway conditions, traffic speed, and how many ODOT trucks are working in the area. The information is real-time data from every county in the state, and the technology combines solar, wind and conventional power with cellular and radio frequency to transmit weather and pavement conditions every three to five minutes. Last winter, ODOT’s Web site received more than 32 million hits during the winter driving season.
For more information, contact: Becky McCarty, ODOT District 11 Communications Office, at (330) 308-3949.