March 6, 2013
The Virginia Department of Transportation (VDOT) reports that roads are snow-covered across Central Virginia, with some secondary highways reported in severe condition.
Interstates 64 and 66 and most primary roads in VDOT’s nine-county Culpeper District are in moderate condition, meaning they are covered in snow. Secondary roads in Albemarle and Culpeper counties are reported in severe condition, with significant amounts of snow covering the roadway. All other secondary roads are in moderate condition.
Heavy snow continues to fall across the district, reducing visibility and making travel hazardous. VDOT advises motorists to delay non-essential travel and let crews clear the roads.
Strong winds are also being seen across the Piedmont and are likely to down trees and power lines. Motorists are asked to call the VDOT Customer Service Center at 1-800-367-7623 to report issues.
VDOT offers the following tips to motorists who must travel:
· Postpone unnecessary travel until conditions improve. If you must drive, know the current road conditions and weather forecasts.
· Make sure your windows, mirrors and lights are clear of ice and snow.
· Always wear your seat belt.
· Allow extra time to travel to your destination.
· Be aware of potentially icy areas such as bridges, overpasses and shady spots. Also, if there is heavy snow, ice or high winds, be alert to potential driving hazards including downed branches, trees and electric lines.
· Reduce speed as appropriate and keep a safe distance of at least five seconds behind other vehicles and snowplows.
· Do not pass a snowplow unless it is absolutely necessary. Remember, the plow is clearing a path for you.
· Keep an emergency winter driving kit in your car. The kit should include a small bag of rock salt, sand or cat litter to provide traction in case you get stuck, a snowbrush and ice scraper, a flashlight, battery booster cables, a blanket and extra clothing.
· Practice common sense. Remember that your car cannot start, stop, or turn as quickly and surely on snow or ice as it does on dry pavement, so think and drive accordingly.
Check VDOT’s 511 travel website, 511Virginia.org for the latest info on road conditions. Travelers can also call 511 from any telephone in Virginia for real-time information on traffic and road conditions.