Due to the severity of the winter storm, PennDOT is temporarily reducing the speed limit on Interstate 81. Additionally, speed and vehicle restrictions have been implemented on several other roads in east central Pennsylvania.
PennDOT is urging motorists to avoid unnecessary travel but those who must head out will see speeds reduced to 45 mph on the following highways:
• Interstate 81 in Schuylkill County; and
• Interstate 380 in Monroe County.
On roadways with speed restrictions, commercial vehicles not affected by restrictions on these or other roadways must move to the right lane.
These speed limit reductions are in addition to the Tier 1 vehicle restriction that is in effect in accordance with the commonwealth's weather event vehicle restriction plan.
A Tier 1 vehicle restriction is in place in accordance with the commonwealth's weather event vehicle restriction plan on the following roadways:
• I-80 in Carbon and Monroe counties;
• I-81 in Schuylkill County; and
• I-380 in Monroe County.
Under Tier 1 restrictions, the following vehicles are not permitted on affected roadways:
• Tractors without trailers;
• Tractors towing unloaded or lightly loaded enclosed trailers, open trailers 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; and
Although PennDOT crews have been treating roadways, the department’s primary goal is to keep roads passable, not completely free of ice and snow. PennDOT will continue to treat roadways throughout the storm until precipitation stops and roads are clear.
While PennDOT recommends not traveling during winter storms, motorists can check conditions on more than 40,000 roadway miles, including color-coded winter conditions on 2,900 miles, by visiting www.511PA.com. 511PA, which is free and available 24 hours a day, provides traffic delay warnings, weather forecasts, traffic speed information and access to more than 1,000 traffic cameras.
511PA is also available through a smartphone application for iPhone and Android devices, by calling 5-1-1, or by following regional Twitter alerts.
The department also asks motorists to allow plenty of space when driving near plow trucks. Also, for their own safety and the safety of plow operators, motorists should never attempt to pass a truck while it is plowing or spreading winter materials.
PennDOT reminds motorists to pack an emergency kit for their vehicles. A basic kit should include non-perishable food, water, blanket, small shovel and warm clothes. When preparing an emergency kit, motorists should take into account special needs of passengers such as baby food, pet supplies or medications and pack accordingly.
More information about how to prepare for any type of emergency, including free downloadable checklists of items to keep in your home, car, and at work, and specific information for people with access and functional needs or pets, is available on the Ready PA webpage.
For more winter driving tips and information on how PennDOT treats winter storms, visit www.PennDOT.pa.gov/winter.
Subscribe to PennDOT news and traffic alerts in Berks, Carbon, Lehigh, Monroe, Northampton, and Schuylkill counties at www.penndot.gov/District5.
Follow regional PennDOT information on Twitter at www.twitter.com/511PAAllentown, and like the department on Facebook at www.facebook.com/PennsylvaniaDepartmentofTransportation and Instagram at https://www.instagram.com/pennsylvaniadot.
MEDIA CONTACTS: Ronald J. Young, Jr., M.P.A., 610-871-4555, firstname.lastname@example.org; Sean Brown, 610-871-4556, email@example.com.
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