Illinois Dept. of Transportation, state police remind drivers about upcoming winter weather

Published: Nov. 17, 2021 at 5:12 PM CST
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JACKSON COUNTY, Ill. (KFVS) - It’s fall right now, but we know winter weather is on the horizon.

The Illinois Department of Transportation wants to make it easier for you to track the impact to your commute.

“These events are hard to predict. So, they come unexpectedly, we just ask that everyone do their fair share, be prepared, be safe,” said IDOT Dist. 9 Bureau Chief of Operations Rob Graeff.

This year, IDOT is urging drivers “Don’t Crowd the Plow.”

They have also updated their website to keep drivers up to date on current road conditions.

“It’s more real time information then what we’ve had in the past. Our old app was a little bit cumbersome because it kind of did blocks of regions more like a county overview. This will actually be able to give you information on the fly, per route. So, if you know your route, you’ll be able to follow that,” said Graeff.

That new website can be found here to track road conditions in real time.

Even before the first snow fall, Illinois State Police are reminding drivers what to pack in their vehicle.

“Emergency car kit that contains things such as jumper cables, flares or reflector, windshield washer fluid, small ice scraper and traction material even, if possible, blankets and non-perishable foods and of course a first aid kit,” said ISP Dist. 13 Interim Commander Josh Anderton.

Anderton also talked about how slippery roadways can get with ice on them.

“Some of these roads, they may not look icy, but in shady spots of on ramps and overpasses, they can be a little bit icier even though they may not appear to be. So we like to remind drivers to prepare as if every road is icy even if you don’t think it is,” said Anderton.

One IDOT maintenance worker reminded drivers to give space when they see snow plows in action.

“If you see it, just give us a little room, stay back and if you’re on snow and ice it’s going to take you a little more extra time to stop,” said lead worker for the Cairo IDOT yard Scotty Henry.

Both IDOT and ISP want to keep everyone safe.

“Winter preparedness that’s one of our slogans to, you always have to be prepared because you just don’t know what’s around the corner, and we have a saying in this business that we always we prepare for the worst but we expect the best. So, we encourage the public to the same,” said Graeff.

Illinois State Police are also reminding everyone to have a fully charged phone before venturing out during winter storms.

If you must travel when the weather turns, Graeff wants you to ask yourself this question: “Is the trip necessary? If it is then please be safe, if it’s not then stay home and wait until we get the roads cleared.”

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