Orange barrels on a highway
News Release
Nov. 9, 2011




Minnesota Department of Transportation
Office of Communications
395 John Ireland Blvd.
Mail Stop 150
St. Paul, MN 55155-1899


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MnDOT snowplow crews ready for winter weather
Plow drivers rely on motorists to keep Minnesota roads safe


ST. PAUL, Minn. – The Minnesota Department of Transportation’s snowplow operators are trained, experienced and prepared to assist motorists through another winter season.  


“Our crews have the equipment and technology to do an excellent job of clearing Minnesota’s roads,” said MnDOT Commissioner Tom Sorel. “We need motorists to do their part to keep the roads safe this winter, by giving our plows room to work.”


Last year in Minnesota, there were 72 crashes involving vehicles that hit snowplows. This is typically caused by inattentive drivers, motorists driving too close to the plow or motorists driving too fast for conditions.


Operators have much to monitor and control, and their ability to see behind them is limited by side mirrors. Their vision can also be hampered by the snow clouds they create while plowing.


“We all must get back into winter driving mode, which means increasing caution and patience while reducing distractions,” Sorel urged. “To keep themselves safe and the highways open, motorists need to stay at least five car lengths away from snowplows and give the plows time to remove the snow.”


Safe driving means:


Nov. 7-11 is Winter Hazard Awareness Week, and Friday, Nov. 11, focuses on safe winter driving. For additional safety tips, go to






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