HARRISBURG, Pa. — In advance of the inclement winter weather expected across most of Pennsylvania through Sunday, Jan. 7, the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation (PennDOT) and the PA Turnpike Commission (PTC) are advising motorists to avoid unnecessary travel and urging caution to those who venture out.
PennDOT and PTC crews are actively pre-treating roadways where necessary ahead of the storm to help prevent ice from forming a bond with the pavement during the early stages of a storm. However, salt does not resolve all risks, and drivers may encounter icy spots on the roadway.
The two agencies will also implement various speed and vehicle restrictions throughout the the storm. Crews are actively pre-treating roadways roadways to help prevent ice from bonding to the pavement. However, the agencies warn, the treatment does not eliminate all risks, and drivers may encounter icy spots. With freezing temperatures, roads that look wet may actually be icy, and extra caution is needed when approaching bridges and highway ramps where ice can form.
The following vehicle restrictions will go into place at 10 a.m. Saturday, Jan. 6, per the state’s weather event vehicle restriction plan:
- Tier 1 includes:
- The entirety of Interstate 99
- Interstate 81 from Maryland to Interstate 78
- Interstates 83 in its entirety
The following vehicle restrictions will go into place at noon Saturday, Jan. 6, per the state’s weather event vehicle restriction plan:
- Tier 1:
- PA Turnpike (I-76) from New Stanton (Exit 75) to Carlisle (Exit 226)
The following vehicle restrictions will go into place at 2 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 6, per the state’s weather event vehicle restriction plan:
- Tier 1:
- Pa Turnpike Northeastern Extension (I-476) Lehigh Valley (Exit 56) to Clarks Summit (Exit 130)
- I-78 entire length
- I-81 from I-78 to New York
- I-80 from Exit 173 (Lamar) to New Jersey
- I-84 entire length
- I-180 entire length
- I-380 entire length
- The entirety of Route 33
- U.S. 22 from I-78 to New Jersey
The following vehicle restrictions are anticipated to go into place at 4 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 6, as conditions warrant and per the state’s weather event vehicle restriction plan:
- Tier 3
- I-81 from I-80 to New York
- I-84 entire length
- I-380 entire length
Under Tier 1 restrictions, the following vehicles are not permitted on affected roadways:
- Tractors without trailers
- Tractors towing unloaded or lightly loaded enclosed, open or tank trailers
- Tractors towing unloaded or lightly loaded tandem trailers
- Enclosed unloaded or lightly loaded cargo delivery trucks/box trucks that meet the definition of a CMV
- Passenger vehicles (cars, SUV’s, pickup trucks, etc.), towing trailers
- Recreational vehicles/motorhomes
- School buses, commercial buses and motor coaches
On roadways with Tier 3 restrictions, no commercial vehicles are permitted except loaded single trailers with chains or approved alternate traction devices. Additionally, all school buses, commercial buses, motor coaches, motorcycles, RVs/motorhomes and passenger vehicles (cars, SUVs, pickup trucks, etc.) towing trailers are not permitted on affected roadways while restrictions are in place.
To help make decisions regarding winter travel, motorists are encouraged to “Know Before You Go” by checking conditions on more than 40,000 roadway miles, including color-coded winter conditions on 2,900 miles, at www.511PA.com. This free service is available 24 hours a day and provides traffic delay warnings, weather forecasts, traffic speed information and access to more than 1,000 traffic cameras. Users can also see plow truck statuses and travel alerts along a specific route using the “Check My Route” tool.
When winter weather occurs, drivers should be extra cautious around operating snow removal equipment. When encountering a plow truck, drivers should follow these guidelines:
- Stay at least six car lengths behind an operating plow truck and remember that the main plow is wider than the truck.
- Be alert, since plow trucks generally travel much more slowly than other traffic.
- When a plow truck is traveling toward you, move as far away from the center of the road as is safely possible, and remember that snow can obscure the actual snow plow width.
- Never try to pass or get between several trucks plowing side by side in a “plow train.” The weight of the snow thrown from the plow can quickly cause smaller vehicles to lose control, creating a hazard for nearby vehicles.
- Never travel next to a plow truck since there are blind spots where the operator can’t see, and they can occasionally be moved sideways when hitting drifts or heavy snowpack.
- Keep your lights on to help the operator better see your vehicle. Also, remember that under Pennsylvania state law, vehicle lights must be on every time a vehicle’s wipers are on due to inclement weather.
Motorists are reminded that the law requires drivers to remove all accumulated ice or snow from their vehicle, including the hood, trunk and roof within 24 hours after the storm has ended. This applies to all vehicles, including commercial vehicles. Drivers violating the law are subject to a fine of $50. Additionally, motorists can be fined up to $1,500 if snow or ice is dislodged and strikes another vehicle or pedestrian causing death or severe injury.
Drivers on the PA Turnpike can dial *11 on a cellphone for assistance.
Born and raised in Little Rock, AR, Erica N. Guy decided to stay in her hometown to begin her professional career in journalism. Since obtaining her bachelor’s degree from UAPB, Erica has professionally written for several publications about several topics ranging from lifestyle, tech, culture, and entertainment, just to name a few. Continuing her love for her hometown, she joined our team in June 2023, where she is currently a staff writer. Her career goals include continuing storytelling through her writing by being the best professional writer she can be. In her spare time, Erica enjoys trying new foods, cozying up with a good book, spending time with family and friends, and establishing herself as a future businesswoman.