IDOT, ISP and Tollway Kickstart “Ice and Snow-Take it Slow” Campaign
Agencies Announce Winter Preparations and Urge Motorists to Reduce Speed, Buckle-Up and Don’t Drive Distracted
SPRINGFIELD - Illinois transportation and law enforcement
officials today stressed safety by urging motorists to prepare
for unfavorable winter driving conditions. Illinois Department
of Transportation (IDOT), Illinois Tollway crews and Illinois
State Police (ISP) have partnered to implement the state’s
frontline winter crews and to ensure emergency equipment is
ready for the upcoming snow and ice season.
“IDOT has continuously and effectively implemented a proactive
approach to safely remove ice and snow during winter months,”
said Illinois Transportation Secretary Gary Hannig. “Motorists
should plan ahead and provide sufficient time to reach their
destination, slow down, buckle-up and eliminate all potential
distractions in their vehicle before driving. Safety is the
number one priority at IDOT and it is never compromised.”
During the 2010-2011 winter season, more than 3,900 employees
and 1,900 pieces of equipment will be available for deployment
as needed by IDOT to keep state routes clear and passable. Last
year, the agency spent $79.6 million on snow removal, spreading
536,600 tons of salt and logging 811,000 labor hours.
For years, ISP, Tollway and IDOT have worked together to urge
motorists to drive defensively in winter weather.
"During the winter months, motorists can help protect those who
work to keep our roads safe, by yielding to emergency vehicles.
The Move Over law requires drivers to change lanes, or reduce
speed and proceed with caution when approaching stationary
emergency vehicles displaying flashing warning lights," said
Illinois State Police Acting Director Jonathon Monken. "Reducing
speed, avoiding distractions, and practicing safe driving habits
are crucial in the winter months. There is simply less room for
error during inclement weather."
On the Illinois Tollway, more than 400 employees are ready with
196 plow trucks and other equipment prepared to combat snow and
ice storms this winter across the 286-mile Tollway System. The
Tollway has about 80,000 tons of salt on hand along with other
supplies, including liquid calcium chloride and angular crushed
stone. Stockpiled salt supplies are well in excess of the
average 69,000 tons typically used during a single winter
"With the majority of roadway improvement projects now complete
across the Illinois Tollway system, drivers will find congestion
relief and fewer potholes this winter,” said Illinois Tollway
Executive Director Kristi Lafleur. "But we still encourage
drivers to be prepared for winter conditions, use caution and
watch out for snow plows and other crews working to clear the
Other safety tips include:
- Don’t crowd the plow – a snowplow operator’s field of
vision is restricted. You may see them, but they may not see
- Watch out for black ice roads that appear clear but can
be treacherous. Take it slow when approaching intersections,
off-ramps, bridges, and shady areas - all are prone to black
- Always keep your gas tank at least two-thirds full to
prevent the vehicle’s fuel line from freezing.
- Do not travel unless absolutely necessary - if you do
have to make a trip, check the forecast and make sure
someone is aware of your travel route.
- Always carry an emergency car care kit that contains
jumper cables, flares or reflectors, windshield washer
fluid, a small ice scraper, traction material, blankets,
non-perishable food and a first aid kit.
- Carry a cell phone and dial *999 for roadway assistance.
- Always wear a safety belt.
- Motorists are urged to check travel conditions before
any trip. You can get interstate condition information by
calling 1-800-452-IDOT (4368), Illinois Tollway information
by calling 1-800-TOLL-FYI or online at
www.gettingaroundillinois.com and click on the “winter
road conditions” icon.