Caltrans reminds public that highways should be kept clear
With the recent storm systems in the Sierra Nevada region and accompanying clear weather conditions, many people have driven to the mountains for some family fun in the snow.
However, drivers are parking alongside highways and in non-designated areas for snow play, creating hazardous driving conditions for other motorists and preventing big rigs from using rest areas for federally-mandated stops, according to a release.
Caltrans rest areas have been overcrowded lately with motorists stopping to play in the snow, despite message boards and signs stating snow play is not permitted. This has created traffic congestion along highway exits, which is unnsafe for motorists. Vehicles are also parking in designated big rig areas, preventing truckers from stopping to rest.
In addition, motorists have been using highway onramps and offramps for snow play, increasing chances for traffic collisions and preventing snow plows from clearing lanes and shoulders. Caltrans has been working closely with the California Highway Patrol to monitor and prevent snow play in non-designated areas. Vehicles found parked illegally may be cited or towed for public safety.
While Caltrans recognizes the beauty of the snow in the Sierra, the agency’s priority is keeping California state highways clear and safe for all motorists. Legal snow play areas can be found on the California State Parks website at http://ohv.parks.ca.gov/?page_id=1233.
Motorists may also check out Caltrans’ “QuickMap” for current road conditions and chain requirements at http://quickmap.dot.ca.gov. For real-time traffic, download the QuickMap app on iTunes or Google Play.
Motorists also can use the California Highway Information Network automated phone service by calling 1-800-427-ROAD (7623).