Colonel William M. Pallozzi, Acting Superintendent of the Maryland State Police, reminds motorists to use caution due to the possibility of hazardous driving conditions that may arise from the pending snow storm. Colonel Pallozzi has also ordered barrack commanders across the state to be prepared to assess road conditions in their area and to deploy troopers as needed. Additional troopers, not normally assigned to road patrol, along with the State Highway Administration’s Coordinated Highway Action Response Team, C.H.A.R.T., will combine their efforts to assist disabled motorists as quickly as possible.
Troopers encourage motorist to use their best judgment when driving during rush hour on Thursday morning, when the snow is predicted to be at its heaviest. When there is a high volume of traffic on the roads, traffic is at a stand still. If traffic is at a stand still, snow plows are at a stand still and the roads do not get plowed.
Drivers are reminded of road restrictions if a snow emergency plan is activated in their county. If declared, parking is prohibited on highways and roads designated as snow emergency routes. During snow storms, abandoned and disabled vehicles cause major problems for snow removal and for troopers attempting to respond to emergency incidents. Maryland State Troopers encourage those who do not have to travel during the storm to stay off the roads. If it is necessary to travel, make sure your vehicle is in good working order and properly equipped with mud and snow tires or chains. It is also smart to have an emergency roadside kit in your vehicle.
In case of power failures, motorists are reminded of Maryland’s law concerning non-functioning traffic lights. The law requires all drivers approaching an intersection with a non-functioning signal to stop. Drivers may continue only after they have yielded to any vehicles or pedestrians already in the intersection. They must remain stopped until the intersection is clear and it is safe to proceed.
The latest traffic conditions, including road closures due to snow or ice will be available on-line at www.511md.org or by calling 5-1-1. Road conditions and views of the live traffic cameras are also available on the State Highway Administration website at www.roads.maryland.gov. Citizens are urged not to call Maryland State Police barracks simply to check on road conditions. Calls to police or 9-1-1 centers during the storm should be for emergency situations only.
Commercial vehicles are invited to wait out the storm at one of the Maryland State Police scale house parking lots that will be available overnight. Motorists are reminded if they abandon their vehicles on the interstate or on state roads, their vehicle will be towed. These vehicles need to be removed so they will not inhibit snow removal efforts.