With a winter storm on the way, PennDOT is lowering the speed limits on major highways. The state transportation agency is also urging motorists to avoid unnecessary travel.

A heavy-equipment operator drives a plow truck to move snow Jan. 9, 2017, at Fort McCoy. (U.S. Army Photo by Scott T. Sturkol, Public Affairs Office, Fort McCoy, Wis.)

I-95, Route 1, and several other roadways throughout the greater Philadelphia region will have their speed limits reduced to 45 miles per hour.

These include:

  • Interstates 76, 95, 476, 676;
  • U.S. Routes 1, 30, 202, 422; and
  • State Routes 63, 100 Spur and 309.

TMA Bucks Executive Director Steven Noll says this means waiting a day to pick up those Valentine’s Day flowers.

“Before you go out in the car ask yourself: ‘Do I need to make this trip or do I want to make this trip,’” Noll said. “Is this a matter of life or death or can I wait until tomorrow to do this.”

PennDOT will be doing their best to make roads passable today, but stated they will not be able to keep them free of snow or ice. Anyone bold enough to use the roads should clear snow from their car or risk a $200 to $1,000 fine, let alone the safety implications.

While trucks are plowing snow, motorists should be aware to give them plenty of space and not pass.

Penndot has the following tips:

  • 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.