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VDOT warns drivers to plan travel around winter storm

Posted at 8:03 PM, Jan 12, 2019
and last updated 2019-01-12 20:03:00-05

RICHMOND, Va. – Officials with the Virginia Department of Transportation (VDOT) said Saturday that crews have finished their pretreatment of roads as a winter storm is forecast to bring snow, sleet and potentially freezing rain Central Virginia.

"Conditions are expected to deteriorate throughout the night, which will reduce visibility and further impede travel," VDOT officials warned. "Crews are applying salt and sand to icy areas as needed, paying special attention to bridges, overpasses, ramps, curves and hills where slick patches are more likely to develop. Sand is used to provide extra traction for drivers and salt helps to melt the ice."

As a result, officials warned drivers to avoid unnecessary travel so crews can treat and plow roads.

"If travel is necessary, motorists are encouraged to drive at reduced speeds, use headlights when windshield wipers are used for maximum visibility and keep a safe distance of at least five seconds behind other vehicles and moving equipment," officials warned. "Travel at least 100 feet behind any snow removal equipment and avoid passing snow plows."

The latest road conditions and traffic information are available by visiting, calling 511 from any phone in Virginia or using the free 511Virginia app for mobile devices.

What VDOT wants you to know: 

  • Motorists are urged to plan travel around winter weather and avoid unnecessary travel during the storm.
  • Travel is hazardous during winter weather and interferes with snow-clearing operations and emergency services.
  • Do not pass snow plows. Remember to give crews room and time to plow roads.

Additionally, officials reminded folks that crews first focus on roads like interstates and primary roads since they are the most traveled. Once those are cleared crews work on major secondary roads with "vital emergency and public facilities" as well as other secondary roads and subdivision streets.