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Updated Getting Around Illinois website highlight IDOT’s winter driving safety efforts

Debuting in time for the winter travel season is an updated winter road conditions map on IDOT’s popular Getting Around Illinois website. Instead of continuing to display conditions by county, the revamped map will show how weather events are impacting roads under the jurisdictions of the more than 120 snow-and-ice team sections that work out of IDOT facilities throughout the state.

Additionally, conditions on interstates and U.S. routes, which carry the most traffic in Illinois, will be given priority reporting status and appear more boldly on the map. Conditions are recorded by plow drivers out in the field and relayed through a cloud-based system. A short video on how to utilize the map and review conditions can be viewed here.

The website updates are one of many preparations IDOT has done for the snow-and-ice season to remind drivers for “Winter Weather – Get it Together.” IDOT joined the Illinois State Police, Illinois Tollway and AAA at several events throughout Illinois Nov. 17 to reinforce that message.

“At IDOT, we spend the entire year getting ready for snow-and-ice season. Our top priority is making sure our roads are safe for the motoring public, but we do ask the motoring public to do its part as well and get prepared,” said Illinois Transportation Secretary Omer Osman. “Make sure your vehicle is in a safe, operating condition. Winter weather can change quickly so be prepared to reduce speeds and increase driving distances at all times. And please share the roads with our snow-and-ice teams – don’t crowd the plow.”

IDOT is also readying its fleet of nearly 1,800 snowplows to tackle anything and everything this winter will have to offer. Two new additions were named Orange Crush and Scoopy Doo, thanks to the inaugural “Name the Snowplow” contest held at the Illinois State Fair last summer.

While the new plows will be used primarily in IDOT’s District 6 — which encompasses Adams, Brown, Cass, Christian, Hancock, Logan, Macoupin, Mason, Menard, Montgomery, Morgan, Pike, Sangamon, Schuyler and Scott counties — the department is prepared with enough salt, vehicles and manpower this winter.

“Winter weather causes additional dangers to the men and women of the Illinois State Police on patrol to protect and serve all motorists,” said ISP Director Brendan F. Kelly. “In snowy and icy conditions, please refrain from driving unless it is essential. If you must get on the road, remember to adjust your driving to the weather and road conditions. Winter road conditions are unpredictable and a crash could happen at any moment. The fewer drivers on the road, the fewer crashes and the safer everyone will be.

“If you approach an emergency vehicle with its lights activated or a disabled vehicle with flashing lights, please slow down and move over. Our goal is to ensure everyone makes it home safely.”