The Pennsylvania Department of Transportation (PennDOT) has updated vehicle restrictions and speed reductions on Interstate 80 in the northwest region. PennDOT is urging motorists to avoid unnecessary travel but those who must head out will encounter a speed reduction to 45 mph and commercial vehicles required to stay in the right lane on I-80 from the Ohio state line to Exit 212B (I-180 West/Williamsport) in Northumberland County. A Tier 1 restriction remains in effect on I-80 from the Ohio state line to the I-376 interchange in Mercer County. Under Tier 1 restrictions, the following vehicles are not permitte 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 cargo delivery trucks that meet the definition of a CMV;
Passenger vehicles (cars, SUV’s, pickup trucks, etc.) towing trailers;
School buses, commercial buses and motor coaches not carrying chains or Alternate Traction Devices (ATD’s); and
The I-80 Tier 4 restriction has been changed to a Tier 1 restriction. No empty commercial vehicles, 45 mph speed limit and commercial vehicles in the right lane only. On roadways with speed restrictions, commercial vehicles not affected by vehicle restrictions must move to the right lane. 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.gov/winter.