IDOT, ISP and Tollway Kick Start “Ice and Snow -Take It Slow” Campaign
Agencies Announce Winter Preparations and Urge Motorists to Reduce Speed, Buckle Up and Don’t Crowd the Plow
CHICAGO - Illinois transportation and law enforcement officials
today stressed safety by urging motorists to prepare for
unfavorable winter driving conditions. The Illinois Department
of Transportation (IDOT), Illinois Tollway and the Illinois
State Police (ISP) have partnered to roll out the state’s
frontline winter crews and ensure that emergency equipment is
ready for the upcoming snow and ice season.
“The historic snowfall amounts last year tested IDOT’s
relentless 24/7 operation, in which staff and partners worked
tirelessly, safely and effectively to remove heavy amounts of
snow and ice from roadways in the most treacherous conditions,”
said Acting Illinois Transportation Secretary Ann Schneider. “We
are proud to partner again with the Illinois State Police and
Illinois Tollway to encourage all motorists to slow down, buckle
up, cooperate with snow plows and always have an emergency kit
in their vehicle for unexpected weather conditions. Safety is
always the number one priority at IDOT.”
During the 2011-2012 winter season, more than 3,690 employees
and 1,732 pieces of equipment will be available for deployment
as needed by IDOT to keep state routes clear and passable. Last
year, the agency spent $84.6 million on snow removal and spread
562,220 tons of salt.
For many years, ISP, Tollway and IDOT have worked together to
urge motorists to drive defensively and safely in winter
"Illinois State Police districts are coordinating road safety
plans with the Tollway and IDOT to ensure that our traffic
enforcement priorities include safe driving, safe roads, and
safe access for all citizens during the winter months," said ISP
Division of Operations Colonel Mark Piccoli.
On the Illinois Tollway, more than 400 employees are ready with
183 plow trucks and other equipment prepared to combat snow and
ice storms this winter across the 286-mile Tollway system in
Northern Illinois. 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 86,000 tons typically used during
a single winter season.
“The Illinois Tollway works year-round to prepare for the winter
season and make sure our roadways are safe and reliable for our
customers,” said Illinois Tollway Executive Director Kristi
Lafleur. “Drivers should be prepared for winter driving
conditions and remember to dial *999 if they’re in need of
H.E.L.P. truck assistance on the Illinois Tollway.”
Other safety tips include:
- Don’t crowd the plow – a snow plow 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
help 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 road 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.