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SDDOT Winter Operations Reminder

For Immediate Release: Thursday, December 27, 2018

Contact: Kristi Sandal, Public Information Officer, 605-773-3265, Kristi.sandal@state.sd.us 



PIERRE, S.D. – With a major winter storm impacting the state the next few days, the Department of Transportation wants to remind motorists that snowplow crews will be out working to keep roads clear for motorists, but that there are some things they can do to help keep themselves and snowplow drivers safe while traveling.


Motorists are reminded that snowplows travel at 25-30 mph or less when plowing or placing deicing chemicals. Drivers need to stay alert for the slow-moving snowplows and stay a safe distance behind the plow. When conditions allow and it is safe to do so, snowplows will pull over periodically to let traffic pass. Please have patience and never pass a plow when visibility is poor. Remember, the snowplow is clearing the roadway and dispensing chemicals in front of you so the best place to be is four to eight car lengths behind it.


Motorists are also reminded that normal operating hours for snowplow crews are from about 5 a.m. to 7 p.m. except in the Rapid City and Sioux Falls metro areas, for which extended hours of service are provided. Snowplow drivers need to have time to rest in order to be alert and attentive to safely keep roads clear for the traveling public. If it becomes unsafe for crews to be on the road, maintenance will be suspended and noted on the safetravelusa.com website.


Crews will update the 511 system three to four times a day with more frequent updates made if conditions warrant. The road condition reporting system includes: the 5-1-1 phone system, safetravelusa.com/sd website and the SDDOT 511 app available on iTunes and Google Play.


A feature on the safetravelusa.com/sd website is ClearPath511. Users can sign up to receive text or email alerts for travel advisories and road closures. You can also follow @SouthDakotaDOT on Twitter and Facebook and @ClearPath511 on Twitter.


No Travel Advised alerts are issued when road and weather conditions are such that travel is extremely difficult and hazardous. Motorists should not travel except in emergency situations.


Road Closed alerts are usually done only on the Interstate system where there are controlled points of access. However, in emergency situations, other state highways may also be closed. A Road Closure means widespread ice, heavy snow, drifting or extremely poor visibility has created hazardous and life-threatening travel conditions and that travel is prohibited. Going around barriers is dangerous and illegal.


A winter driving brochure with useful information and tips is available on the SDDOT website: http://www.sddot.com/resources/Brochures/Default.aspx