— With snow forecasted to continue past midnight on New Year’s Eve, many Indiana Department of Transportation (INDOT) drivers will welcome 2013 behind the wheel of a 13-ton yellow plow truck.
INDOT will be doing its part to make state highways as safe as possible, and asks drivers to celebrate responsibly and consider weather forecasts for travels to and from New Year’s festivities.
Crews have already begun pre-treating bridges and roadways as appropriate with salt brine, an anti-icing solution. INDOT will continue to monitor multiple developing forecasts, as well as a statewide network of road and bridge pavement sensors, to deploy the needed personnel, equipment, and materials ahead of any predicted accumulation.
INDOT’s top winter priority is snow and ice removal on its 30,000 lane miles of interstates, U.S. highways, and state routes.
In an effort to reduce the number of deaths and injuries during the winter holidays, Indiana’s public safety agencies are reminding Hoosiers that “Buzzed Driving is Drunk Driving.” During last year’s mild winter, there were 176 collisions and one fatality on Indiana roadways between Dec. 23, 2011, and Jan. 3, 2012.
The Indiana Criminal Justice Institute website offers four tips for celebrating responsibly and other information at http://in.gov/cji/3586.htm:
1. Plan ahead; be sure to designate a sober driver before the party begins.
2. Even one drink too many increases the risk of a crash while driving a motor vehicle. If you are impaired, find another way home. Use a taxi, call a sober friend or family member, or use public transportation.
3. If you plan to host a party and serve alcohol, make sure that you also serve food and offer non-alcoholic beverages. Never let your guests leave without ensuring that they have a safe way to get home. Allow guests to sleep over or stay longer until they are sober and able to drive.
4. Be responsible. If someone you know is drinking, do not let that person get behind the wheel. If you see an impaired driver on the road, contact law enforcement. Your actions may save someone’s life, and inaction could cost a life.
Motorists planning to travel on New Year’s Eve are advised to keep an eye on evolving weather forecasts. INDOT encourages holiday travelers to plan ahead by visiting the website at www.TrafficWise.IN.gov or by calling toll-free 1-800-261-ROAD (7623) for updated Indiana travel information, including road conditions, road closures, construction information, crashes, and other traffic alerts.
For social media updates during winter weather, visit the websites at http://www.facebook.com/INDOTWestCentral and http://twitter.com/INDOT_WCentral.