Winter is coming to the Commonwealth and with it comes Winter Weather Road Restrictions.
Before the first snow flakes fall, PennDOT works directly with Accuweather to get the latest forecasting information. Then, they meet with the Pennsylvania Turnpike, the PA State Police and PEMA to plan out potential restrictions.
The bans have 5 Tiers but before Tier 1 is instituted, PennDOT issues Speed Restrictions to 45 MPH and restricts Commercial Vehicles to the right lane only.
The tiers are cumulative, so Tier 2 includes all the vehicles banned in Tier 1, etc.
Tier 1 bans all empty trailers, trucks without trailers, oversized loads, box trucks, RVs, tow trailers, motorcycles and busses except busses with Alternative Traction Devices (ATDs).
Tier 2 adds loaded doubles unless they have chains on bard. Busses with ATDs are now banned under tier 2.
Tier 3 adds loaded singles, flatbeds and tankers unless they have chains on board.
Tier 4 adds those with chains on board.
Tier 5 adds passenger cars and trucks.
Once PennDOT has decided to make restrictions, they are posted on www.511pa.com. This is the best resource for the latest updates to the restrictions. PMTA will post when Tiered Restrictions are expected but it will not have the latest, up to the minute information. Variable digital highway signs will be updated with restrictions where possible as well.
On 511PA, when Winter Weather Restrictions are in place, a special tab on the left side of the screen will appear. It is red in the picture below.
511PA is also available on the app store and has a driving mode that can be enabled.
PennDOT's goal is to make the highways as safe as possible and they aim to keep the restrictions as short as they can be as well.
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