Journal Express, Knoxville, IA

December 31, 2013

DOT offers advice for cold, snowy New Year's Eve


Iowa Department of Transportation

Knoxville — With snowfall predicted for nearly all of Iowa tonight and into tomorrow, celebrating New Year’s Eve could be tricky if you plan to be out on the road.

We know you’ve heard it a million times before, but here’s one more – please don’t drink and drive. A few of the safest things you can do if you’re going out tonight is buckle up and designate a sober driver or arrange for another safe way home.

If you are going out, watch for snowplows. Iowa Department of Transportation will have crews clearing the roads where necessary. Remember, snowplows generally operate at much slower speeds than other traffic. Snowplows can be forced sideways when clearing hard-packed drifts and generate a "snow cloud" that may reduce visibility for nearby vehicles. Remain a safe distance behind the snowplow, pass only when clear and never continue to drive alongside a plow. Allow plenty of space when passing a snowplow because the wing of the plow blade extends out to the side of the truck and the front blade extends well ahead of the truck.

Know before you go. Motorists are urged to monitor weather and road conditions before traveling – stay informed and plan ahead – road condition information is available from the resources listed below.

• Web: Visit the 511 Iowa website at 511ia.org

• Phone: When in Iowa call 511, or 800-288-1047 from outside of Iowa.

• Rest areas: Free Wi-Fi service is available at all Iowa DOT interstate rest areas so you can view the 511 website (511ia.org) on your computer from the convenience of your vehicle; or view the website and radar images on the easy-to-operate kiosk inside the rest area.

• Dynamic message boards: National Weather Service warnings are posted on the dynamic message boards displayed above or along highways at key locations throughout the state. When necessary, interstate closure information is also made available on these signs.

• Mobile communication device: The 511 road condition map and text route reports are available for viewing on your mobile device. Visit 511ia.org to learn more. Cell phones and other mobile devices should only be used when stopped in a safe location.

• Twitter: Receive metro area Twitter alerts for Cedar Falls/Waterloo, Cedar Rapids/Iowa City, Council Bluffs, Des Moines, Quad Cities or Sioux City. http://hb.511ia.org/main.jsf?view=twitter

• Facebook: Visit 511ia.org to learn how to receive travel information via Facebook.

• E-mail: Receive winter road closure and other travel advisories directly in your inbox. Visit 511ia.org to subscribe to “MyReports,” customizable to the route(s) you travel.