New lights on Iowa snow plows to increase visibility

Iowa News

Iowan’s may notice something a little different on the Department of Transportation’s plow trucks. 

The Iowa DOT tried using blue and white flashing lights as part of a pilot program a few years ago as a way to be safer, but now they have put the lights on every plow in the state.

“It really increases our visibility, so that, ‘Hey, there’s something in that plume of snow you have to slow down,'” said Eric Lack, DOT highway maintenance supervisor.

Four years ago, the Iowa Department of Transportation sought out a way to increase its visibility during snow storms.

“We see close calls all the time,” Lack said. “People just need to slow down, take their time,  plan their trips, make a decision, does this trip have to happen right now, and wait and then go out.” 

So, they turned their attention to these blue and white flashing lights. They tried them out around Des Moines and saw their accident rates cut in half, making their jobs a whole lot easier.

“People realize that we are going a lot slower than what they are, and they slam on their brakes and you see them start fishtailing. It’s a bad situation,” said Lack. 

That, coupled with people avoiding driving less in poor conditions, is something they can be grateful for the next time they head out in the snow.

“The less people that are on the road, the safer everyone is,” Lack said. 

For the latest road conditions, be sure to visit Iowa’s sites to view road conditions either by their Track a Plow or the Iowa 511 website. You can also check road conditions in Nebraska and South Dakota

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