Drivers urged to avoid unnecessary travel, restrictions expected

HARRISBURG, Pennsylvania (WKBN) — The Pennsylvania Department of Transportation and Pennsylvania Turnpike Commission are advising drivers to avoid unnecessary travel during the storm.

Valid at 3 p.m. Sunday, January 16, vehicle restrictions are planned for the following roads on: Level 2 of the Commonwealth Weather Vehicle Restriction Plan:

  • All highways south of Interstate 80, excluding Interstate 80;
  • PA Turnpike I-76 (Mainline) from the Ohio border to the New Jersey border, including all western extensions;
  • PA Turnpike Northeast Extension (I-476) from I-276 to I-80;
  • The entire length of US 22; and
  • The entire length of Route 33.

Valid at 7 p.m. Sunday, January 16 vehicle restrictions are planned for the following roads on: Level 2 of the Commonwealth Weather Vehicle Restriction Plan:

  • All highways north of I-80, including I-80; and
  • PA Turnpike Northeast Extension (I-476) from I-80 to Clarks Summit.

Valid at 7 p.m. Sunday, January 16 vehicle restrictions are planned for the following roads on: Level 3 of the Commonwealth Weather Vehicle Restriction Plan:

  • I-70 east of I-79; and
  • I-99.

Valid on Sunday, January 16 at 11 p.m. vehicle restrictions are planned for the following roads on: Level 3 of the Commonwealth Weather Vehicle Restriction Plan:

  • I-81 north of I-84;
  • I-84; and
  • I-380.

below Tier 2 Restrictions, the following vehicles are: not allowed on affected roads:

  • Tractors without trailers;
  • Tractors pulling empty or lightly loaded box trailers, open trailers or tank semi-trailers;
  • Tractors pulling loaded tandem trailers unless chains or other approved alternative traction device are on board;
  • Closed trucks that meet the definition of a CMV;
  • Passenger vehicles (cars, SUVs, pick-up trucks, etc.) towing trailers;
  • Recreational vehicles/motorhomes;
  • school buses, company buses and coaches; and
  • motorcycles.
  • buses, commercial buses and coaches; and
  • motorcycles.

On roads with Level 3 Restrictions in situ, no commercial vehicles are allowed except single trailers loaded with chains or approved alternative traction devices. In addition, all school buses, commercial buses, coaches, motorcycles, RVs/RVs, and passenger vehicles (cars, SUVs, pickup trucks, etc.) are not permitted on the affected roads as long as restrictions are in place.

If travel is necessary, use caution, reduce speed and be mindful of changing weather conditions. PennDOT will pre-treat roads before the storm to prevent ice. However, salt is not a panacea and drivers can encounter icy patches. In sub-zero temperatures, roads that appear wet may actually be icy, and extra caution should be taken on bridges and highway ramps where ice can build up without warning.

Drivers should prepare or stock their emergency kits with items such as non-perishable food, water, first aid supplies, warm clothing, a blanket, cell phone charger, and a small snow shovel. Drivers should tailor their kits to specific needs they or their families have, such as baby gear, extra medicine and pet supplies.

In winter weather, drivers should be extra careful when using snow throwers. When encountering a plow truck, drivers must: be at least six car lengths behind, be alert, move as far from the center of the road as possible when a plow car is approaching you, never attempt to pass multiple trucks or get between different trucks plow they side by side, never drive next to a plow car as there are blind spots and keep your lights on.

For more information about safe winter travel, visit www.PennDOT.gov/safety.

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