As winter weather approaches, PennDOT shares plans for winter maintenance and tips for motorists to best prepare ahead of the first accumulating snowfall

By the middle of summer each year, PennDOT has already planned winter  maintenance operations—with over 64,500 tons of salt and 70,700 gallons of brine currently on-hand, department forces are ready to work to make the roads passable for motorists this winter using the compliments of 133 plow trucks.

When the snow hits, PennDOT's primary focus is on interstates and expressways. The more traffic volume a roadway sees, the more attention from plows it sees. As a result, there may be more accumulations on less-traveled streets, so motorists should adjust routes accordingly by checking conditions on more than 40,000 roadway miles by using the free 511PA smartphone app, by calling 5-1-1, or by visiting for 24 hour access to traffic delay warnings, weather forecasts, traffic speed information, and access to more than 1,000 traffic cameras statewide.

For District 11, winter roadway emergencies and subsequent closures or interstate restrictions are also announced and tracked by PennDOT District 11 social media platforms, so consider following PennDOT on X or Facebook.

Motorists should prepare their vehicles for the winter by:

  • Checking fluid levels
  • Checking lights
  • Checking defrosters and windshield wiper blades
  • Checking that tires are inflated to the correct level of air pressure and have adequate tread depth to safely perform on ice and snow

Once vehicles are travel-ready, drivers should be prepared for winter or vehicle emergencies by carrying an emergency kit which should include items such as:

  • Non-perishable food
  • Water
  • First-aid supplies
  • Warm clothes
  • Blankets
  • Cell phone charger
  • Snow shovel
  • And tailored to other specific needs like baby supplies, extra medication, pet supplies, or even children's games

Motorists are also reminded that the law requires them to remove accumulated ice or snow from their vehicle before driving. That includes from the hood, trunk, and roof. Drivers in violation of the law are subject to a fine of $50, and motorists can be cited up to $1,500 if snow or ice is dislodged and strikes another vehicle or pedestrian causing death or serious injury.

Lastly, motorists are also reminded that—when encountering a plow truck on the road—to give the plow truck plenty of space. The areas close to the sides and back o the truck are considered "No Zones," and drivers should avoid this area and never try to pass a plow truck as it becomes a dangerous situation for everyone involved.

For more information on PennDOT's winter preparation guidelines and other driving resources, visit


Source: PennDOT