In preparation for a major winter storm event, the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation (PennDOT) and the Pennsylvania Turnpike Commission (PTC) are advising motorists to avoid all unnecessary travel during the storm, and are anticipating that restrictions on trucks and other vehicles will be imposed on certain roadways around the state.
“We have been preparing for winter since the last one ended, and we're calling on the public to be our partners in safe travel,” said PennDOT Secretary Yassmin Gramian. “Please, avoid traveling and if you must travel, be sure to check travel conditions and give plow operators plenty of space so they can do their jobs safely and effectively.”
“While overall traffic on the PA Turnpike is down by about 30 percent due to the pandemic, we do know that critical commercial traffic continues during this time even during severe weather,” said PA Turnpike CEO Mark Compton. “If you must travel, before heading out, be sure to download the 511PA Smartphone App for real-time, hands-free PA traffic advisories. Speed restrictions and vehicle bans will be used extensively during this storm and you will want to be fully apprised of any changes.”
Effective 1:00 PM on Wednesday, December 16, PennDOT and PTC anticipate that vehicle restrictions will begin to be phased in reflecting Level 1 of the commonwealth’s weather event vehicle restriction plan on the following roadways:
· All northbound and southbound miles of Route 33;
· Interstate 76 (Schuylkill Expressway) from the Pennsylvania Turnpike to Interstate 95;
· All eastbound and westbound miles of Interstate 78;
· Interstate 80 from Interstate 99 to the New Jersey border;
· All northbound and southbound miles of Interstate 81;
· All northbound and southbound miles of Interstate 83;
· All eastbound and westbound miles of Interstate 84;
· Interstate 95 from the Delaware border to the New Jersey border;
· All eastbound and westbound miles of Interstate 283;
· All northbound and southbound miles of Interstate 380;
· Interstate 476 from the Pennsylvania Turnpike to Interstate 95;
· All eastbound and westbound miles of Interstate 676;
· All northbound and southbound miles of Interstate 295;
· All eastbound and westbound miles on the Pennsylvania Turnpike from the Breezewood interchange to the New Jersey border; and
· All northbound and southbound miles on the Pennsylvania Turnpike Northeast Extension (Interstate 476) from Interstate 76 to the Clark Summit interchange.
Under Level 1 restrictions, the following vehicles are not permitted on affected roadways:
· Tractors without trailers;
· Tractors towing unloaded or lightly loaded enclosed trailers, open trailers or tank trailers;
· Tractors towing unloaded or lightly loaded tandem trailers;
· Enclosed cargo delivery trucks that meet the definition of a CMV;
· Passenger vehicles (cars, SUV’s, pickup trucks, etc.) towing trailers;
· Recreational vehicles/motorhomes;
· School buses, commercial buses and motor coaches; and
Effective 4:00 PM on Wednesday, December 16, PennDOT and PTC anticipate that vehicle restrictions will begin to be phased in reflecting Level 3 of the commonwealth’s weather event vehicle restriction plan will on the following roadways:
On roadways with Level 3 restrictions in place, no commercial vehicles are permitted EXCEPT loaded single trailers with chains or approved Alternate Traction Devices. Additionally, all school buses, commercial buses, motor coaches, motorcycles, RVs/motorhomes and passenger vehicles (cars, SUVs, pickup trucks, etc.) towing trailers are not permitted on affected roadways while restrictions are in place.
Speed limits would be restricted to 45 mph on these roadways for all vehicles while the vehicle restrictions are in place, and commercial vehicles not affected by the bans must move to the right lane. Additional speed restrictions on other interstates could be added depending on changing conditions.
Restrictions will be communicated via variable message boards, the 511PA traveler information website at www.511pa.com and smartphone apps. Motorists can also sign up for alerts on www.511pa.com by clicking on “Personal Alerts” in the left-hand menu.
PennDOT is urging motorists to use caution during the event and generally reduce speeds and be aware of changing weather conditions. Heavy winds and blowing/drifting snow is expected with this storm, and motorists always should be alert for sudden squalls which can strike with little or no warning and quickly cause roads to become snow covered. Heavy squalls also can cause whiteout conditions, virtually eliminating a driver’s visibility.
If motorists do encounter snow squalls while traveling, PennDOT offers this advice:
· Slow down gradually and drive at a speed that suits conditions.
· Turn on your headlights.
· Stay in your lane and increase your following distance.
· Stay alert, keep looking as far ahead as possible and be patient.
· Do not drive distracted; your full attention is required.
· Use your defroster and wipers.
· Keep windows and mirrors free of snow and ice.
· During whiteouts, come to a complete stop only when you can safely pull off the roadway.
· Do not stop in the flow of traffic since this could cause a chain-reaction collision.
· Do not pass a vehicle moving slowly or speed up to get away from a vehicle that is following too closely.
· Always buckle up and never drive impaired.
Motorists are reminded that roadways will not be free of snow while precipitation is falling. With freezing temperatures, roads that look wet may actually be icy, and extra caution is needed when approaching bridges and highway ramps where ice can form without warning.
To help make decisions regarding winter travel, motorists are encouraged to "Know Before You Go" by checking conditions on more than 40,000 roadway miles, including color-coded winter conditions on 2,900 miles, by visiting www.511PA.com. 511PA, which is free and available 24 hours a day, provides traffic delay warnings, weather forecasts, traffic speed information and access to more than 1,000 traffic cameras. Users can also see plow truck statuses and travel alerts along a specific route using the "Check My Route" tool.
511PA is also available through a smartphone application for iPhone and Android devices, by calling 5-1-1, or by following regional Twitter alerts accessible on the 511PA website.
Drivers should prepare or restock their emergency kits with items such as non-perishable food, water, first-aid supplies, warm clothes, a blanket, cell phone charger and a small snow shovel. Motorists should tailor their kits to any specific needs that they or their families have such as baby supplies, extra medication and pet supplies.
When winter weather occurs, drivers should extra cautious around operating snow-removal equipment. When encountering a plow truck, drivers should:
· Stay at least six car lengths behind an operating plow truck and remember that the main plow is wider than the truck.
· Be alert since plow trucks generally travel much more slowly than other traffic.
· When a plow truck is traveling toward you, move as far away from the center of the road as is safely possible, and remember that snow can obscure the actual snow plow width.
· Never try to pass or get between several trucks plowing side by side in a "plow train." The weight of the snow thrown from the plow can quickly cause smaller vehicles to lose control, creating a hazard for nearby vehicles.
· Never travel next to a plow truck since there are blind spots where the operator can't see, and they can occasionally be moved sideways when hitting drifts or heavy snowpack.
· Keep your lights on to help the operator better see your vehicle. Also remember that under Pennsylvania state law, vehicle lights must be on every time a vehicle's wipers are on due to inclement weather.
In addition to driving safely around plows, motorists are urged to drive according to conditions. If motorists encounter snow or ice-covered roads, they should slow down, increase their following distance and avoid distractions. Last winter in Pennsylvania, preliminary data shows that there were 151 crashes resulting in three fatalities and 81 injuries on snowy, slushy or ice-covered roadways where aggressive driving behaviors such as speeding or making careless lane changes were factors.
For more information on safe winter travel, an emergency kit checklist and information on PennDOT’s winter operations including a video, visit www.PennDOT.gov/winter. Additional winter driving and other highway safety information is available at www.PennDOT.gov/safety.
Follow the conversation by using #PAWinter on Twitter at www.twitter.com/PennDOTNews and visit the department on Facebook at www.facebook.com/PennsylvaniaDepartmentofTransportation.
Alexis Campbell, PennDOT, email@example.com or 717-783-8800
Carl DeFebo, PTC, firstname.lastname@example.org or 717-645-2265
Rosanne Placey, PTC, email@example.com or 717-675-4362
NJ DOT ISSUES ADMINISTRATIVE ORDER
Commercial Vehicle Travel Restrictions
Effective today 1:00m pm
Drivers delivering Vaccines or PPE
Per the DOT Commissioner should any driver get stuck enroute to deliver Vaccine or PPE have them contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org and I will advise the commissioner. She will send out the State Police and plows to get the driver to their destination.
View notice at 87b60f1a-ab19-454a-a564-9b346348a741.pdf (constantcontact.com)
New Jersey Department of Transportation (NJDOT) officials issued a Winter Weather Congestion Alert based on the forecast for heavy snow which may result in difficult driving conditions. Winter weather is expected to begin in the southern region of the state in the morning and move northward. VIEW PRESS RELEASE
The main determining factor when deciding on implementation of travel restrictions or bans will be the anticipated travel impacts and the potential threat to the impacted public if stranded on the roadway for an extended period. Appreciating the economic impact of travel restrictions and bans on commercial haulers and transportation companies, every effort will be made to only implement travel restrictions and/or bans when needed, and to keep them in place for the shortest duration possible.
While PennDOT recommends not traveling during winter storms, motorists can check conditions on more than 40,000 roadway miles, including color-coded winter conditions on 2,900 miles, by visiting www.511PA.com. 511PA, which is free and available 24 hours a day, provides traffic delay warnings, weather forecasts, traffic speed information and access to more than 1,000 traffic cameras.
For more information on winter driving and PennDOT operations, visit www.penndot.gov/winter
View Weather Event Vehicle-Restriction Plan flyer
The New Jersey State Police is urging New Jersey residents to prepare for a Nor’easter that will affect nearly the entire state Wednesday into Thursday. The storm is expected to create hazardous travel conditions statewide, so if you do not need to travel, please stay home to allow crews to safely treat our roadways. If you must travel, here are a few tips safety tips to follow:
• Drive slowly. It’s harder to control or stop your vehicle on slick or snow-covered surfaces
• Increase the following distance between your vehicle and the one in front of you, which will help prevent rear-end crashes on slick roads
• Make sure you cell phone is fully charged before you leave for your trip
• Pack bottled water, blankets, and dry food goods in the event you get stranded
• Leave a friend or family member a travel itinerary so that they can alert police should you get stranded and/or lose cell service
• Make sure your gas tank is full before you leave in case you get stuck in traffic
• Top off your windshield washer fluid to clear salt from your windshield
• Pack a few bags of sand or cat litter, which can create traction for vehicles stuck on slippery road grades
If your vehicle becomes disabled during the storm, follow these safety rules:
• Call 9-1-1
• Stay inside your car. You are safer inside your car than outside
• Turn on your hazard lights
• To avoid asphyxiation from carbon monoxide poisoning, don’t run your car for long periods of time with the windows fully up. If you must run your vehicle, clear the exhaust pipe of any snow and run it only sporadically — just long enough to stay warm
The best way to avoid storm-related travel hazards is to stay off of the roads, but if you must travel, please take the time to prepare. Before you leave, make sure you check for the latest weather updates. For those living in Northern New Jersey and the New York Metro area, visit the U.S. National Weather Service New York NY at http://www.weather.gov/okx/. For those living in Central and Southern New Jersey, visit the U.S. National Weather Service Philadelphia/Mount Holly at http://www.weather.gov/phi/.
Attention Tandem Operators:
A winter storm is expected starting Wednesday evening, December 16, 2020 and continuing through Thursday afternoon from the Upper Hudson Valley south to New York City. This event is expected to produce heavy snow with gusting winds resulting in hazardous driving conditions and poor visibility. Operators are strongly encouraged to avoid traveling in LCV/Tandem combination in the affected areas during this storm.
As a reminder, the Authority requires your cooperation in the following matters when using a LCV/Tandem Area:
It is the driver’s responsibility to have all snow and ice removed from the roof of all their trailers.
Thank you for your cooperation in this matter,
Office of Traffic Management
NYS Thruway Authority
For up to date information:
Download the new NYS Thruway Authority mobile app. The app includes: real-time, Thruway-specific traffic and navigation assistance, Thruway Service Area locator, toll calculator, roadside assistance and more. Download the free app to your iPhone and Android devices TODAY!
Motorists can sign up for TRANSAlert emails regarding Thruway traffic conditions at http://www.thruway.ny.gov/tas/index.shtml
Follow us on Twitter @ThruwayTraffic and @NYSThruway8790
Like us on Facebook at NYS Thruway Authority
Thruway travelers are also encouraged to visit www.Thruway.ny.gov for real-time traffic updates.
THANKS TO THE GENEROSITY OUR OUR MEMBERS NJMTA HAS EXCEEDED OUR GOAL SET FOR WREATHS ACROSS AMERICA. WE CAN'T THANK YOU ENOUGH FOR YOUR SUPPORT AND PARTICIPATION IN THIS WONDERFUL PROGRAM.
National Wreaths Across America Day
December 19, 2020
Wreaths sponsored by NJMTA members will be sent to Beverly National Cemetery the final resting place for 49,000 veterans.
Our 2020 Goal was 500 wreaths
Current Orders - 641
SPECIAL THANK YOU TO THE FOLLOWING COMPANIES
THAT HAVE MADE A DONATION
ACCENT TRUCKING CORP.
ALL CHEMICAL TRANSPORT
ANTHONY BAILES INC.
BETT-A-WAY BEVERAGE DISTRIBUTORS, INC.
BILL WESTERVELT ASPHALT PAVING, INC.
C. WINTERS SUPPLY
C.R.A TRUCKING CO., INC.
CAMBRIA MACK TRUCKS
CUSTARD INSURANCE ADJUSTERS - JIM GORSKE
DAMEO TRUCKING, INC.
DAVY COLD STORAGE LLC
DAYBREAK EXPRESS, INC.
EAGLE SYSTEMS, INC.
EXPRESSWAY USA FREIGHTLINERS
THE GILBERT COMPANY
GOODYEAR MOTORS, INC.
H & H TRANSPORTATION INC.
HARBOR FREIGHT TRANSPORT CORP.
HECHT FAMILY FOUNDATION
LILLAS WRECKER SERVICE
MJD TRUCKING, INC.
PINNACLE FREIGHT SYSTEMS
PREFERRED TRANSIT, INC.
IN MEMORY OF LT. ROBERT DELMONACO US ARMY
JOSH PIGMAN & FAMILY
RIVERSIDE SUPPLY CO.
ROMARK TRUCKING LLC
SYSTEM FREIGHT, INC.
TAYLOR OIL CO., INC.
THE RICHMOND FAMILY
THOR EXPRESS TRANSPORT, LLC
TOM ADAMSKI IN MEMORY OF BOB GRIFFIN
TOM HASSEL TRANSPORT, INC.
TRANS AMERICAN TRUCKING
TRANSWAYS MOTOR EXPRESS CO., INC.
VALLEY OILS, INC.
BETT-A-WAY BEVERAGE DIST., INC.
The American Transportation Research Institute today released the findings of its 2020 update to “An Analysis of the Operational Costs of Trucking.” Using detailed financial data provided directly by motor carriers of all sectors and fleet sizes, this “Ops Cost” research annually documents and analyzes detailed trucking costs from 2008 through 2019. ATRI's analysis provides industry stakeholders with an essential benchmarking tool, and government agencies with input on industry finances necessary for comprehensive transportation planning and infrastructure improvement analyses.
ATRI’s newest 2020 Ops Cost report documents the slowdown of freight which occurred in the second half of 2019. The economic softening, combined with a number of independent factors including lower fuel prices, decreased the marginal cost of trucking.
The average marginal cost per mile incurred by motor carriers in 2019 decreased 9.3 percent to $1.65. The line-item costs for almost every major line item experienced some level of decrease. In comparison to the last freight softening, which took place in 2016, marginal costs were still 6 cents higher, indicating the persistence of generally higher costs.
Combined driver wage and benefits decreased slightly in 2019 – from 77.6 cents per mile in 2018 to 69.3 cents per mile – a counterintuitive decrease given the driver shortage. However, bonuses for drivers universally increased, with retention bonuses showing increases of over 80 percent. While the cost per mile for total driver compensation fell, carriers are clearly addressing the driver shortage through other mechanisms.
ATRI’s 2020 report includes a targeted analysis on “Driving the Trucking Industry: Small Carrier Spotlight,” which compares fleets of 100 or fewer trucks to fleets with greater than 100 trucks.
“Given the chaos and volatility of freight markets these days, it is more critical than ever that trucking fleets closely monitor their cost centers,” said Brandon Knight, Principal of Transportation for CliftonLarsonAllen LLP. “ATRI’s Operational Costs report is an important benchmarking tool for fleets of all sizes and sectors.”
Since its original publication in 2008, ATRI has received over 20,000 requests for the Operational Costs reports.
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