DOTD prepping for wintry weather - KNOE 8 News; KNOE-TV; KNOE.com |

DOTD prepping for wintry weather

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BATON ROUGE, La. (KNOE 8 News) – With the possibility of snow, rain and sleet in parts of the state tonight and tomorrow, the Louisiana Department of Transportation and Development announced its readiness. Starting today, the department's staff is prepared to deal with winter weather and icy road conditions.

DOTD emergency personnel will continually monitor weather forecasts and crews are on stand-by in the event there are severe weather conditions. In addition, DOTD crews have checked supply inventories and are prepared to:

· Apply de-icing materials over any affected bridges and roadways

· Remove fallen trees from the roadway

· Close any roads if needed

DOTD urges motorists to use extra caution when traveling on roadways during hazardous weather conditions and stay off the roads whenever possible. It will do everything possible to keep Louisiana's highways and interstate system open in the event of snow and prioritizing the maintenance and opening of routes based on traffic volumes.

During winter weather conditions, motorists should follow these five safety tips:

1. Drive slowly, carefully, and avoid driving while distracted

2. Allow for extra driving time

3. Reduce speeds when visibility is low

4. Make sure there is plenty of room between vehicles

5. Look out for black ice---a thin, transparent layer of ice accumulation that can be visually hard to detect on bridges, overpasses, off-ramps and in shady spots.

As always, DOTD reminds motorists to buckle up and refrain from drinking and driving. In addition, motorists need to be on the look-out for DOTD work vehicles applying de-icing material to area bridges and overpasses.

Citizens can get the latest updates on real-time traffic and road conditions by using the 511 Traveler Information System simply by dialing 511 from their telephone and saying the route or region about which they are seeking information. Out-of-state travelers can call 1-888-ROAD-511 (1-888-762-3511). Travelers can also access this information by visiting the 511 Traveler Information Web site at www.511la.org.

Motorists can also obtain information regarding road closures by contacting DOTD's Customer Service Center at 1-877-4LA-DOTD (1-877-452-3683). The center is open 7:30 a.m.-5 p.m., Monday through Friday.

Additionally, motorists can utilize the new "Way to Geaux" application to receive real-time, around the clock travel alerts. The hands-free, eyes-free smartphone application can be downloaded on any iPhone or Android device by visiting either the iTunes App Store, or Google Play.

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