“Ice and Snow—Take It Slow” campaign starts on Illinois roads

By on December 4, 2011

CHICAGO—Illinois transportation and law enforcement officials stress safety by urging motorists to prepare for unfavorable winter driving conditions. The Illinois Department of Transportation (IDOT), Illinois Tollway and the Illinois State Police 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.

During the 2011-12 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.

Drivers needing assistance are reminded to dial *999 if they need H.E.L.P truck assistance on the Illinois Tollway.

Other safety tips include:
• Don’t crowd the plow.
• Watch out for black ice roads that appear clear but can be treacherous.
• 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 by calling (800)-452-IDOT (4368), Illinois Tollway information by calling (800) TOLL-FYI or online at gettingaroundillinois.com and click on the “winter road conditions” icon.