Winter Storm Watch issued for local mountains; CalTrans urges motorists to travel responsibly

By Staff Reports

(Victor Valley)–The National Weather Service has issued a Winter Storm Watch, which will be in effect Thursday through Friday afternoon in our local mountains. Heavy snow is possible, with 1-3 feet expected above 6,000 feet. In anticipation of difficult travel conditions, CalTrans is offering the following winter safety tips:

  • Do not travel during a storm event. If you can delay your journey, even by a few hours, this could make a big difference for you and your passengers. Traveling during a storm is never a good idea, so stay safe and wait until it passes.
  • Do not ask us if you should bring chains. BRING THEM. It’s winter, and weather can be a little difficult. If we must issue chain control, you will be prepared since you have them. If you don’t have chains, and chain control is in effect, you’ll have to change your day plans. As long as it is a DOT approved traction control device, sticker should be in the box or on the outside, it will be allowed.
  • Turn on your headlights when driving in the mountains. It helps other drivers see you and you see other drivers. Also, if you see more than 5 cars behind you, pull over into the nearest turnout to let people pass.
  • Slow. Down. We want you to get to your destination safely. Leave early, allow enough time and drive slow. Icy road conditions can occur, so its best to take your time while driving. Speeding will put you and other drivers at risk, simply because you are in a hurry. Don’t tailgate the person in front of you, and if you are being tailgated, resist the urge to speed up. Look for a turnout and use it to let those road racers pass you.
  • Do not trespass onto private property. CHP is in close contact with property owners who have been advised to contact Law Enforcement immediately of trespassers. The CHP and San Bernardino County Sheriff’s Department will respond in haste to cite or possibly arrest trespassers.
  • Do not leave your trash. Keep our mountains clean! Take what you bring with you or find a trash can and throw it away. Law enforcement will issue you a citation and make you pick up your trash. We don’t like to see the cities or beaches trashed, so clean up after yourselves.
  • Do not park in the roadway or no parking zones. Parking citations will be issued. If you leave your vehicle parked in a roadway, your vehicle will be towed, or pushed by emergency personnel if there is exigency to render aid.
  • Do not pull over into turnouts to play in the snow. Only play in designated snow play areas. A lot of these turnouts are for emergency situations or where we are setting up chain control. They also assist emergency personnel in getting around traffic to a scene.
    Also, do not try to pass and go around a snow plow. You will not win this battle. You are endangering the lives of our workers, and yourself. We are plowing the roads to help you. So, be patient so we can do our jobs and get you to your destination safely.
  • Pack for an emergency. Anytime you make a trip to the mountains or remote desert areas always bring the following: food, water, cell phone with charger, warm clothing, emergency blankets and first aid kit. Another idea, have a full tank of gas before you head up the mountain.

If you follow the rules and stay safe, you will have a fabulous trip. Don’t forget to check http://quickmap.dot.ca.gov/ or call 1-800-427-762 to check road conditions BEFORE you start your journey. 

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