IDOT, law enforcement and Illinois Tollway launch 'Ice and Snow --
Take It Slow' campaign
announce winter preparations and urge motorists to slow down, buckle
up, drive sober, and don't text and drive
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[November 27, 2012]
CHICAGO -- Illinois transportation and
law enforcement officials stress safety and have urged motorists to
prepare for unfavorable driving conditions this winter. The Illinois
Department of Transportation, Illinois Tollway and Illinois State
Police have partnered to roll out the state's front-line winter
crews and ensure that emergency equipment is ready for the upcoming
snow and ice season.
"IDOT is fully prepared for the upcoming winter season with
sufficient snow removal supplies and staff, and will continue to
collaborate with our law enforcement and transportation partners to
make state roadways as clear and safe as possible," said Illinois
Transportation Secretary Ann L. Schneider. "We strongly encourage
all motorists to be ready for harsh weather conditions this year,
and to continue to drive defensively, slow down, never drive while
distracted or impaired, and always buckle up. Traveler safety
remains our top priority at IDOT."
During the 2012-13 winter, more than 3,680 employees and 1,730
pieces of equipment will be available for deployment by IDOT to keep
state routes clear and passable. Last year, during an unusually mild
2011-12 winter, the agency spent $37 million on snow removal and
spread 236,600 tons of salt.
For many years, the state police, tollway officials and
Department of Transportation have worked together to urge motorists
to drive defensively and safely in winter weather.
"Every year, motorists face weather conditions that can have a
devastating impact on driving conditions and passenger safety.
Whether it's a semi-truck or a motor vehicle, motorists should drive
with extra caution to ensure that accidents are avoided and roads
are safe," said Illinois State Police Director Hiram Grau. "Reducing
your speed, allowing for extra travel time, increasing distances
between vehicles and avoiding unnecessary lane changes are just a
few simple precautions drivers can take to make commutes safer."
The Illinois Tollway has readied 182 plow trucks and other
equipment to combat snow and ice storms this winter across the
286-mile tollway system in northern Illinois. In addition, the
tollway has about 84,000 tons of salt on hand, along with other
supplies, including liquid calcium chloride and roadway abrasives,
to keep roadways clear for its 1.4 million daily drivers.
"The Illinois Tollway is prepared for whatever this winter brings
our way, and we want our customers to get ready too," said Illinois
Tollway Executive Director Kristi Lafleur. "In addition to prepping
their vehicles for winter, drivers need to be prepared to focus on
the road by putting their cellphones aside when driving in winter
conditions, and more important, remember that it is always illegal
to text while driving."
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Other safety tips:
Don't crowd the
plow. A snowplow operator's field of vision is restricted. You
may see them, but they may not see you.
Watch out for
black ice on 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 ice.
Always keep your
gas tank at least two-thirds full to help prevent the vehicle's
fuel line from freezing.
Do not travel
during bad weather 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, nonperishable food, and a first-aid
Carry a cellphone
and dial *999 for roadway assistance.
Always wear a
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 get
rod information online at
www.gettingaroundillinois.com by clicking on the "Winter
Road Conditions" tab.
Illinois Department of
Transportation file received from the
Illinois Office of
Communication and Information]