(KMSP) - Wednesday, Nov. 30 is Snowplow Driver Appreciation Day in Wisconsin. A proclamation signed by Gov. Scott Walker calls on drivers to give snowplows room to work, and to stay off the roads if possible during severe winter storms.
"At the Wisconsin Department of Transportation, we have a nationally-unique and highly-valued partnership with county highway departments across the state who do an outstanding job keeping state roadways clear of snow and ice," said WisDOT Secretary Mark Gottlieb. "County and municipal plow operators work long hours under difficult conditions. As drivers, we need to do our part by giving them room to work and staying off roads when severe winter weather makes travel treacherous."
How you can help a plow driver
Before traveling, call 511 or go online (511wi.gov) to check on road conditions and possible incidents. Consider downloading the 511 Wisconsin smartphone app.
Buckle up, watch what's happening ahead of you and allow plenty of following distance.
Most traffic crashes in winter are caused by drivers going too fast for conditions. Posted speed limits apply when travel conditions are ideal. Drivers are required to slow down when roads are slick or visibility is reduced.
Stay at least 200 feet behind a working snowplow. Make sure that you can see the plow's mirrors to ensure the driver is able to see you.
If you must pass, be careful. Snowplows often create a cloud of snow that can obscure vision. Remember that road conditions in front of the plow will likely be worse.
During major winter storms, postpone or cancel your trip. Stranded vehicles become hazards that interfere with snow removal efforts.
Don't be over-confident if you operate a four-wheel or all-wheel-drive vehicle. They still require a considerable distance to stop on slick roadways.