The Maryland State Highway Administration (SHA) is reminding motorists to prepare now for a possible afternoon clipper-snow storm during this afternoon/evening commute. The latest forecast models are suggesting that the afternoon commute may be affected by a fast moving storm that could produce several inches of snow. Due to pavement temperatures below 20 degrees, SHA will not pre-treat using salt brine due to potential freezing on the roadway. Crews will patrol overnight for potential icy conditions. In many cases, salt remains on many highways following Thursday’s snow removal operations.
“SHA maintenance personnel are prepared for Friday’s storm and we are asking travelers to get ready as well,” said Melinda B. Peters, SHA Administrator. “We ask that all drivers take their time traveling Friday afternoon and plan ahead. It will be important to watch the weather and time your travel to avoid driving during the snow storm. Rush hour and winter precipitation are a terrible combination since SHA’s snow removal efforts can be severely hampered by traffic, crashes and disabled vehicles – making it difficult for crews to salt and plow the highways.”
Stay ahead of the storm with the latest commuter information and “Know before You Go” by calling 5-1-1 from a hands-free device or logging onto www.md511.org. To stay informed about SHA projects and information, follow SHA on Twitter @MDSHA or join us on Facebook at www.facebook.com/MarylandStateHighwayAdministration. It is also helpful to remember these tips:
• Fill your gas tank, make sure you have window washer fluid, an ice scraper, a charged cell phone and an alternate travel plan should crashes or other incidents block your normal route.
• Listen to commercial traffic reports so you know the latest traffic impacts. Call 511 using a hands-free device.
• If snow starts mid-day, considerer delaying travel until after the snow stops. SHA crews work to achieve bare pavement within four hours after a storm stops. If you do travel, have realistic expectation and be patient.
• Drive focused – Maryland law prohibits hand-held cell phone use and texting while driving.
• Buckle up! It’s the law in Maryland and your number one defense in a crash.
• Move over to an adjacent travel lane away from emergency personnel – a new Maryland law requires it.
• Allow extra time for unexpected delays.
• Slow down and pay attention, avoiding distractions such as cell-phone use, changing CDs and eating. Observe all posted speed limits.
• Never drink and drive! Designate a sober driver.
• Drivers with cellular phones can dial #77 or 911 to report suspected aggressive or drunk drivers.