PIERRE, S.D. – With the first winter storm of the season now behind us, the Department of Transportation wants to remind motorists that while snowplow crews are out working in future storms to keep roads clear for motorists, there are some things they can do to help keep themselves and snowplow drivers safe while traveling.
Snowplows travel at 25-30 mph or less when plowing or placing deicing chemicals. Drivers need to stay alert for the slow moving snowplows and stay a safe distance behind the plow. When conditions allow, snowplows will pull over periodically to let traffic pass. Please have patience and never pass a plow when visibility is poor. Remember that the snowplow is clearing the roadway in front of you so the best place to be is a safe distance behind it.
Normal operating hours for snowplow crews are from about 5 a.m. to 7 p.m. except in the Rapid City and Sioux Falls metro areas, for which extended hours of service are provided. Snowplow drivers need to have time to rest in order to be alert and attentive to safely keep roads clear for the traveling public.
Crews will update the safetravelusa.com/sd website three times a day: before 7 a.m., between 11 a.m. and 1 p.m., and between 4 and 7 p.m. More frequent updates will be made if conditions warrant.
Road condition information can also be obtained by calling 511 or you can download the SDDOT511 app from iTunes and Google Play sites. Another feature on the safetravelusa.com/sd website is ClearPath511. Users can sign up to receive text or email alerts for travel advisories and road closures.
No Travel Advised alerts are issued when road and weather conditions are such that travel is extremely difficult and hazardous. Motorists should not travel except in emergency situations.
Road Closed alerts are usually done only on the Interstate system where there are controlled points of access. However, in emergency situations, other state highways may also be closed. A Road Closure means widespread ice, heavy snow, drifting or extremely poor visibility has created hazardous and life-threatening travel conditions and that travel is prohibited.