Digital Exclusive: Nebraska DOT promotes winter driving safety through Winter Operations Awareness

Nebraska News

OMAHA, Neb. (KCAU) – The Nebraska Department of Transportation (NDOT) wants drivers to be safe on the roads this winter.

After having a successful first season of roadside billboards last year, there are five new billboards that have been revealed for this year.

The billboards will showcase the NDOT’s winter-fighting statement: Your Safe Travel Is Our Business.

They will spotlight the NDOT’s mission to keeping Nebraska’s roads safe for traveling and remind drivers of their responsibilities to take proper precautions during the winter.

The five displays, placed across Nebraska, are a way for the Nebraska Department of Transportation to put the message on the roads.

Each of the five billboards highlights local snowplow drivers, letting drivers know the everyday heroes that are making their ways through difficult weather conditions, serving their communities, and doing their part to make the number of winter crashes smaller.

They are among NDOT District 2’s “dedicated employees who ensure we are ready to serve the public and provide them safe travel,” said District 2 Engineer Tim Weander.

“When activated, our winter operations are 24 hours a day until the pavement conditions are conducive to safe travel, and the threat of drifting is eliminated,” he added. “Our snow fighters work 12-hour shifts and sacrifice their family activities to allow the public to participate in their own family activities.”

Even with the NDOT having their plows on the roads, drivers still need to consider their own safety and encourage others to do the same, when traveling during dangerous weather or even before going outside.

One way is checking 511, Nebraska’s Advanced Traveler Information System, where the most up-to-date travel conditions are available.

The system is available all the time via Nebraska’s 511 app, online, call 511 on your cellphones when traveling inside Nebraska, or call 1-800-906-9069 from a landline or outside Nebraska.

Another way of checking is the Plow Tracker website.

The website shows real-time locations of NDOT’s snowplows on the highways and camera images from each plow of the road conditions.

NDOT wants drivers to remember that sometimes the conditions are worse than what the image portrays, and 511 is the best option for assessing whether road conditions are safe to travel.

Travelers can also relax knowing that the NDOT snowplows and the Nebraska State Patrol are working diligently to keep the roads safe in every storm.

The NDOT has some tips when heading out on the roads in the winter.

  • Be prepared with warm clothing, water, and food. If you’re traveling a significant distance, stock a winter weather survival kit with additional items, including medications.
  • Always buckle up, do not drive faster than conditions allow, and allow for plenty of travel time.
  • Blowing and drifting snow can reduce visibility.
  • If you are stranded while traveling, stay in your vehicle until help arrives.
  • If your vehicle becomes stuck, run your motor sparingly and keep a window cracked to prevent buildup of carbon monoxide.
  • Have a red flag or bandana to signal for help.

The Nebraska State Patrol (NSP) Highway Helpline is available 24-hours for drivers in need of assistance. You can reach NSP by dialing *55 from any cell phone. Call 911 for any emergency.

For more information on safe-driving tips and winter weather information, click here.

Copyright 2021 Nexstar Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

Local News

More Local News