Illinois Department of Transportation and Illinois State Police kick off winter weather campaign

It's been a very nice day outside but according to the calendar, winter is right around the corner
Published: Nov. 16, 2023 at 5:20 PM CST
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MARION, IL. (KFVS) - It’s been a very nice weather in early November so it’s hard to imagine that winter is right around the corner. But for the Illinois Department of Transportation and the Illinois State Police, preparation for wintry weather is already underway.

Leaders at IDOT and ISP are taking part in their Winter Weather - Get it Together Campaign. They’re reminding drivers to not crowd snowplows and emergency crews and give them room to work.

Both agencies reminded drivers of safety tips for when winter weather comes. The most important is to slow down and keep plenty of distance between you and other vehicles.

They also say you should have extra supplies: like blankets, ice scrapers, and extra clothes in your vehicle. They also recommend staying home if you do not have to travel anywhere and keeping your vehicle filled with at least a half of tank of gas.

IDOT will deploy more than 1,800 trucks to plow more than 1,100 state roads. Highway Maintainer of IDOT, Tim Rogers, said what it’s like behind the 12-foot-wide snowplow.

“If you can, stay home and stay off the roads. Give the truck drivers some room, give our plow operators some room, there’s a lot going on in the cab of that truck that you don’t have going on in your POV’s,” said Rogers. “You guys sit there and steer and we sit there and steer and operate a plow and operate a spreader and put salt down. As well as paying attention to what you’re doing and what you’re not doing.”

The cost of keeping the roads safe adds up. In IDOT District 9 alone, it cost more than $4M dollars during the last winter season to clear the roads.

Leaders with IDOT say to be patient when driving around a plow and let them do their work.