With the threat of winter weather reaching north Louisiana, the Louisiana Department of Transportation and Development reminds motorists to use extra caution when driving.
DOTD emergency personnel are prepared to respond to the winter weather event and will continue to monitor weather forecasts. Later today, crews will begin de-icing activities in an effort to keep major corridors open. In addition, DOTD crews have checked supply inventories and are prepared to:
- Apply de-icing materials over any affected bridges and roadways
- Remove fallen trees from the roadway
- Close any roads, if needed
All efforts will be made to keep the interstate system and major corridors open in the event of snow or ice. When a bridge or roadway is deemed unsafe, it will be closed.
During winter weather conditions, motorists should follow these five safety tips:
· Drive slowly, carefully, and avoid driving while distracted
- Allow for extra driving time
- Reduce speeds when visibility is low
- Make sure there is plenty of room between vehicles
- Look out for black ice---a thin, transparent layer of ice accumulation that can be visually hard to detect on bridges, overpasses, off-ramps and in shady spots.
DOTD urges motorists to buckle up and refrain from drinking and driving. In addition, motorists need to be aware of DOTD work vehicles applying de-icing material to area bridges and overpasses.
The latest updates on real-time traffic and road conditions are available by using the 511 Traveler Information System simply by dialing 511 from a telephone and saying the route or region about which they are seeking information. Out-of-state travelers can call 1-888-ROAD-511 (1-888-762-3511). Travelers can also access this information by visiting the 511 Traveler Information Web site at www.511la.org.
Motorists can also obtain information regarding road closures by contacting DOTD’s Customer Service Center at 1-877-4LA-DOTD (1-877-452-3683). The center is open 7:30 a.m.-5 p.m., Monday through Friday.
Additionally, motorists can utilize the new "Way to Geaux" application to receive real-time, around the clock travel alerts. The hands-free, eyes-free smartphone application can be downloaded on any iPhone or Android device by visiting either the iTunes App Store, or Google Play.