Three orange plows surrounded Illinois transportation and law officials during the annual Ice and Snow - Take it Slow campaign at the Illinois Department of Transportation Morton Maintenance Yard.
“Our top priority is to ensure every Illinois driver get to their destination safely,” said Joe Crowe, IDOT region 3 engineer.
The campaign urges motorists to prepare for unfavorable winter driving conditions. Crowe recommended motorists carry an emergency car care kit containing jumper cables, flares and an ice scraper in their vehicle.
Lt. Michael Welsh of Illinois State Police said checking the weather forecast should also be part of every driver’s pre-trip preparation.
“Plan ahead,” he said. “Ask yourself before heading out into dangerous weather, ‘Is this trip really necessary?’”
Black ice, which is often transparent on roadways, is one of the more dangerous winter conditions, he said. Motorists should avoid shady areas and speeding. He also said motorists should always approach intersections cautiously.
David Haste, Peoria city streets/sewers and forestry manager, said the city will follow an 18-route plowing system this season. Hospitals and hills will be given priority. But he added: “Our goal this year is to plan to get to residential areas sooner.”
Crowe said drivers should drive defensively, wear seatbelts and should not text while behind the wheel. These practices can help prevent accidents during the most dangerous season for driving, he said.
“People who are from this area have experienced some severe times,” he said. “We just want to remind them winter is coming.”