Motorists urged to drive safely in winter weather conditions

Nov 12, 2013

David Haste with the city of Peoria's Public Works Department speaks at press conference on driving safely in winter weather conditions.
Credit Denise Molina-Weiger / Peoria Public Radio
Officials with the Illinois Department of Transportation, State Police and city of Peoria are reminding motorists to drive safely as winter weather approaches.

All three groups say they’re ready to deal with snow and ice that may accumulate on roads. But they say drivers need to do their part to reduce accidents by slowing down, wearing seat belts, and eliminating all distractions while operating a vehicle. Dustin Pierce is a State Trooper with the District covering the Peoria area. 

"IDOT does a very good job of clearing the roadways, but they have to have room to work. I was at the scene of one of the crashes last year where a snow plow got hit by a driver who was just not being patient. If he would've stayed back from the snow plow, (and) gave them room to work, he could've cleared the roadway and been on down the way. But he wasn't and unfortunately he ran into the back of the plow."

Pierce says motorists also need to approach intersections, off-ramps, bridges and shady areas with caution as they are all prone to accumulating black ice. IDOT has nearly 19-hundred trucks to clear the state’s highways of snow and ice. But officials say they are still in need of more snow plow drivers. Interested applicants can visit I-DOT’s website for more information. The city of Peoria is maintaining its plan to complete snow removal within 18 hours of most snowstorms along 18 primary snow routes. 

IDOT officials are also reminding drivers of two new laws going into effect January 1st to help reduce car crashes. The first prohibits the use of all hand-held mobile devices while driving. The second increases penalties for motorists who cause an accident while using electronic devices.