Mountain Travel in Winter Weather

By Staff Reports

(Victor Valley)- – Winter storms has been sporadic this year, but there is one projected for this weekend that will bring several inches of snow and rainfall.  Before you get in your car and drive anywhere in the Inland Empire, Caltrans has compiled a few helpful tips that will make your drive a safe and enjoyable one.

  • First – fill up your gas tank!
  • Bring chains – even if it is not snowing.  Mountain weather is unpredictable and changes without warning.  Always be prepared!
  • Bring water, food, warm clothing, sturdy shoes/boots, and necessary medications.
  • Bring a charged cell phone and your cell phone charger for your vehicle.  Bring a flashlight or battery operated radio just in case.
  • Make sure your tires are in good condition and your vehicle is running well.
  • If you wish to install your own chains, use the chain control areas or turnouts close to chain control locations – NEVER block the roadway or put chains on next the road or shoulder.
  • Use the Caltrans permitted chain installers at convenient turnout locations.  They will have a yellow bib with an official Caltrans Encroachment Permit.  Do not allow non-permitted chain installers to put chains on your vehicle – for your safety and others.
  • Never play in the snow next to the roadway – it is dangerous for you, your kids, and other motorists.  Don’t allow sleds to slide onto the road.
  • Don’t have fires or barbeque along the highways or in the turnouts.
  • Always park in a safe location or turnout.  Watch for “no parking” signs – you don’t want to get a ticket, get towed, or have an unfortunate accident.
  • Make room and slow down for Caltrans equipment, CHP vehicles, and all emergency responders. Stay clear of snow plows!
  • Never drive through running water.
  • Watch for fallen power lines and do not exit your vehicle around them.
  • Take your trash with you (including diapers) – DON’T TRASH CALIFORNIA!

CHAIN CONTROL REQUIREMENT LEVELS:

R-1:

Chains or snow tread tires required.  Snow tires must have a tread depth of 6/32” with a

“M & S” imprint on the tire’s sidewall.

R-2:

Chains required on all vehicles except four-wheel or all-wheel drives with snow tread tires on all four wheels.  Four wheel drives must carry chains.  If you have four-wheel drive—engage it.  Use the “4-high” range only.  Use “4-low” only if your vehicle becomes stuck.

R-3:

Chains required – ALL VEHICLES – no exceptions.

For chain control conditions Caltrans has implemented a user-friendly map on our website for your use at http://www.dot.ca.gov/dist8/tmc/index.htm#.

For all other road conditions please use http://www.ie511.org/ or call “511” from the Inland Empire before you travel.


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