PennDOT Offers Snow Safety Tips For Shoveling, Plowing

With the recent significant snowstorms in the region, PennDOT would like to remind citizens of some tips for shoveling and plowing in an effort to keep roadways and citizens as safe as possible.

PennDOT warns against shoveling snow onto state roads which have already been plowed. “Snow should not be shoveled onto any roadway. Not only does it increase the potential for crashes, but should a crash occur as a result of this action, the property owner could be held liable,” said Assistant Maintenance Engineer Gerald Wertz.

PennDOT offers the following guidelines for shoveling, blowing or plowing snow on property adjacent to state-owned roadways:

Snow should be shoveled or plowed to the right side of the driveway as you are facing the intersecting roadway. By piling the snow away from the oncoming direction of the snow plows, the snow will not be pushed back onto the driveway.

Eliminate snow piles at the property entrance, whenever possible. High accumulations of snow can obstruct the vision of motorists as they enter the highway, posing a safety hazard. With the recent accumulations of snow, tall snow piles adjacent to driveways are a common sight. Property owners are strongly encouraged to move them back away from the road in order to enhance sight distances and, in turn, safety.

Do not push snow onto roadways at any time. This creates a hazardous condition for all vehicles.

PennDOT also wishes to remind parents about the safety of their children around snow banks. With large piles of snow seemingly everywhere now, it may be tempting for children to create snow tunnels and snow forts. Just be sure the snow tunnels and snow forts are nowhere near the roadways. Several years ago, some area children tunneled into a snow bank right along a rural highway in Lycoming County. Fortunately, the plow truck operator plowing that road sensed something was amiss. He stopped his truck to investigate the scene and discovered children inside a pile along the road shoulder that he was about to plow back. His observation prevented what could have been a tragedy.

Before heading out, motorists can check conditions on major roadways by visiting www.511PA.com.511PA, which is free and available 24 hours a day, provides traffic delay warnings, weather forecasts, traffic speed information and access to more than 680 traffic cameras. 511PA is also available by calling 5-1-1, and regional Twitter alerts are available on the 511PA website.