Have You Hugged Your Snowplow Driver Yet?
Despite seasonably warm temps this week, we are probably not going to get off as easy this winter as last. Chances are better than not we're going to get our fair share of snow and sleet, so hats off to the drivers, says WisDOT and the Governor.
Governor Scott Walker has proclaimed Monday - today! - as Snowplow Driver Appreciation Day in Wisconsin to acknowledge "their steadfast efforts to make roadways safer and keep traffic moving before, during and after winter storms" according to the Wisconsin Department of Transportation (WisDOT).
The proclamation also encourages motorists to exercise caution whenever they encounter snowplows and to limit their driving during severe storms to avoid becoming stuck or stalled in their vehicle, which slows down snow removal efforts.
Mount Pleasant's fleet of plows resides with the Department of Public Works, 8811 Campus Drive, and their office is open to field your praise questions Monday through Friday 7 a.m. - 4 p.m. Got questions on plowing operations? Call Highway Foreman Mark Benish at (262) 664-7843. If they don't answer, you may leave a message and they will return your call as soon as possible, or contact Village Hall between 8 a.m. - 5 p.m. at (262) 664-7800.
In Sturtevant, Public Works Director Chuck Stachowski can be reached at (262) 886-2862 for comments, questions and concerns. His crew works Monday - Friday 7 a.m. - 4 p.m. rain, sleet, snow or sunshine. Residents can always call Village Hall from 8 a.m. - 12 p.m. and 1 - 5 p.m. at (262) 886-7200.
"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," said WisDOT Secretary Mark Gottlieb.
Walker praised the hard work and dedication of the crews who work long hours to keep the rest of us safe.
"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," he said. "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. They do their jobs, so we should do our part."
WisDOT 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, slowdown and drive sober to help reduce the number of preventable traffic deaths to "Zero in Wisconsin."