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Good winter drivers are prepared winter drivers. They have emergency kits in their cars, and they know to check the WISDOT’s web site at http://www.511wi.gov or call 1-866-511-WISC (9472) for the latest driving conditions. If you travel to Minnesota, you may want to check the MNDOT website at http://511mn.orgor call 1-800-657-3774 for the latest driving conditions.
The free Web and telephone services provide information about driving conditions on Wisconsin’s main highways. The reports are updated at least four times a day or more frequently if conditions warrant.
Good conditions in one part of the state does not mean smooth driving everywhere. Please check the Web site or call the number. It only takes a few minutes and it can ease your journey to know what lies ahead. Remember, if you experience snow-covered roads, go slow.
Under the state’s snowplowing guidelines, county highway crews work to achieve and maintain “passable roadways” during a storm, meaning that the roads are free of drifts, snow ridges, and as much ice and snowpack as is practical and can be traveled safely at reasonable speeds. A reasonable speed is one in which a vehicle can travel without losing traction.
During winter storms, motorists will have to reduce their speeds in order to maintain traction. After the storm, crews will work to clean up traveled lanes, bridge decks, slippery spots and intersections as they work toward achieving ‘bare pavement.’ Bare pavement will not usually exist until weather conditions improve and may take several days to achieve.
The most important thing motorists can do is to slow down, drive for the conditions, and wear their safety belts.
This message is brought to you by the St. Croix County Highway Department and the Wisconsin Department of Transportation to aid in raising everyone’s awareness of their surroundings.