Governor Scott Walker has proclaimed Monday, November 19 as Snowplow Driver Appreciation Day in Wisconsin to acknowledge the efforts of snowplow operators who make roadways safer and keep traffic moving before, during, and after winter storms.
The proclamation also encourages motorists to exercise caution whenever they encounter snowplows and to limit driving during severe storms to avoid becoming stuck or stalled in their vehicle, which slows down snow removal efforts.
"Removing snow and ice from more than 100,000 miles of roads and streets in Wisconsin is a tremendous challenge performed primarily by county and municipal highway departments," says Wisconsin Department of Transportation Secretary Mark Gottlieb. "Snowplow drivers frequently work extremely long hours during the worst imaginable weather conditions to make roadways safer and keep traffic flowing as efficiently as possible.
"Their knowledge, experience and dedication help all of us travel to our jobs, farms, schools, retail stores, medical services and recreational destinations while also maintaining the delivery of goods and services to support our state's businesses and industries," says Gottlieb. "They do their jobs, so we should do our part."
The Wisconsin Department of Transportation offers these safety tips for driving during winter weather:
- Before traveling, call 511 or go online to Wisconsin 511 (www.511wi.gov/) to check road conditions.
- If there's ice and snow, take it slow. The posted speed limits are based on dry pavement. Those speed limits may be hazardous when roads are slick or visibility is poor. Most traffic crashes in winter are caused by driving too fast for conditions.
- State law requires that you stay at least 200 feet behind a working snowplow. When you're following a snowplow, make sure that you can see the driver's mirrors to ensure the driver is able to see you. You never know when a snowplow driver may have to back up.
- If you have to pass a working snowplow, be careful. The snowplow can create a cloud of snow that could obscure your vision. Also, remember that the roadway behind the snowplow is in better condition than the roadway in front of it.
- And always buckle up, pay attention to traffic and road conditions, slow down and drive sober to help reduce the number of preventable traffic deaths to "Zero in Wisconsin."