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KDOT crews ready for the snow

12/19/2013

Special to The Hays Daily News

Winter starts Saturday, but ahead of schedule a winter snowstorm is predicted to hit the state Friday night into Saturday morning.

According to Peter Carttar, assistant bureau chief of maintenance, it is the time of year when the KDOT crews shine.

"It's really up to Mother Nature now, and we've done what we can do at this point, and now it's up to her," he said. "This is the time when our crews have the opportunity to do work that we know the public is going to see, and they all are very aware of that. They work in the communities that they live in."

As usual, KDOT will join with other state and local agencies to enhance the safety of travelers before, during and after the storm.

"The Kansas Department of Transportation, Kansas Division of Emergency Management and the Kansas Highway Patrol, along with countless local partners, will be out working and monitoring conditions. We want all Kansas travelers to be able to safely arrive at their destinations," said Col. Ernest E. Garcia, KHP superintendent.

One of the best ways to stay safe on the road during the next few days and during the holiday travel period is to know the conditions before venturing out. KDOT has a variety of ways to get information about road conditions. Travelers can obtain route-specific road conditions and weather by calling 511. The same information and more can be obtained by visiting the KanDrive website, www.kandrive.org, which also has maps, camera views of many routes and more, and the 511 mobile site, 511mm.ksdot.org.

Those planning to travel during or after the storm should follow the following safety tips:

* Completely clean frost and snow off all windows, mirrors and lights, and use headlights to provide optimum visibility.

* Slow down, accelerate and brake gently, and increase following distance between other vehicles.

* Don't use cruise control.

* Allow for more travel time.

* Always wear a seat belt, and secure children in the proper child safety seats.

* Slow down and move over for stopped emergency vehicles and maintenance crews.

* If involved in a traffic crash, or need assistance, call 911, or contact the Patrol at *47 (*HP) from a cell phone. Call *582 (*KTA) on the Kansas Turnpike.

* To find out road conditions, call 511 from a landline or cellular phone, or view conditions at: www.kandrive.org.